Further profits recovery for major housebuilders is being predicted by investment bank Matrix.

Matrix believes Persimmon and Bellway are the best placed builders to benefit from any demand recovery, though it believes an upturn in activity won’t occur until next spring at the earliest.

The bank says tight lending criteria have forced many potential first-time buyers into private rental, pushing rents higher.

But despite this and the government’s spending review bringing a further dent to housebuyer confidence, Matrix says increasing rents and the realisation that spending cuts are being phased in should lead to buyers “normalising” their concerns.

“The flat trajectory of new build in housing and a decline in social provision are likely to put further pressure on rental costs, and this will encourage a favourable cost comparison with owner occupation for those buyers able to secure a mortgage or who are cash buyers,” said Matrix.

It admits that purchaser confidence and a more liberal mortgage market are key, but does not expect mortgage lending to improve over the next 12 months.