McCarthy & Stone is sitting at the bottom of the FTSE 250 this morning after the British builder of retirement homes said the housing market has weakened since the EU referendum in June.

Shares are down 11.7 per cent in early trading, at 184.9p.

Clive Fenton, McCarthy & Stone chief executive, said the company was in “robust health” and delivered “strong growth” in a full-year trading update this morning, but the company said it had suffered from falling reservations and an increase in cancellations since the referendum result.

A prolonged downturn in the housing market would make it difficult for McCarthy & Stone to reach the 15 per cent volume growth it had hoped for in the next financial year.

Property stocks have been on a wild ride in recent weeks, as investors watch closely for any solid evidence on the health of the market after the Brexit vote.

McCarthy & Stone said it saw “some improvement in customer sentiment” in August, tallying with recent reports that had helped property shares to recover some of their post-referendum losses, but warned that it “is too early to predict” whether the improvements will last.

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