Fewer homes have been built against a backdrop of higher mortgage interest rates, new figures reveal.

Housebuilding giants Bellway and now Persimmon are among the first to indicate the scale of the problem with jobs being cut amid a drop in the number of new homes built.

Persimmon today reported a fall in revenue as it sold considerably fewer houses during the first six months of the year.

Where, though, should we point the finger of blame over a housing market that should be making a roaring recovery but is now in slowdown and laying off builders?

“Last year’s mini-Budget sent shockwaves through the entire housing industry and its impact is clear to see in Persimmon’s results, with home sales down by more than a third,” said Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.

READ MORE: Housebuilder to cut jobs and build fewer houses

This was when mortgage costs first started to rise. It was when the mini-Budget took sterling to its lowest rate against the dollar since records began, the Bank of England intervened, the International Monetary Fund interjected, and it was feared some pension funds were on the brink.

Persimmon's pre-tax profit fell by around two thirds to £151m.

The business said it had completed 4,249 new homes over the period, a reduction from 6,652 in the same time frame a year ago.

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"Against a backdrop of higher mortgage rates, the removal of Help to Buy and significant market uncertainty, Persimmon has delivered a robust sales rate excluding bulk sales while growing the private average selling price in our forward order book and also securing cost savings," said chief executive Dean Finch.

Analyst Ms Palmer also said: “In response to a tough market and spiralling inflation that is making building homes more expensive, Persimmon has cut 300 roles and is seeking a further £25 million of savings.

“To make homes more affordable, it’s also looking to reduce prices by cutting specifications of the properties it builds in areas which the company says ‘are less important to customers’.”

READ MORE: Stewart Milne puts firm back up for sale

Andy Murphy, director at Edison Group, said that the half-year report, “revealing a 65% slump in profit, underscores the challenging landscape of Britain's housing sector”.

The country is paying the price now and for the foreseeable future for the experimental ideologies of the last Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss and former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, while the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s goal of limiting the damage by reining in out-of-control interest rates seems to be getting more elusive.