Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Berkeley and Persimmon are among the losers

Shares in listed housebuilders opened sharply lower after this morning’s shock election results, which have led to a hung Parliament and Theresa May hanging on to her premiership.

Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Berkeley and Persimmon are among the losers, with shares heading south by an average of 3% in the first hour after markets opened.

Investors were spooked by the lack of certainty around the outcome of the snap election, called by May in order to shore up her side of the House of Commons as she prepared for the start of Brexit negotiations next week.

With the Conservatives gaining the most seats in the Commons but reaching no clear majority, the Prime Minister has said she does not plan to resign, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said his party could lead a minority government.

Speaking about the new political turmoil, Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL, said a coalition government would provide the economy with less stability. “The short-term impacts are uncertain and this could drag on housing market activity if clear political leadership does not emerge quickly.    

“It is likely that we will see some ministerial shake-ups in the coming days and weeks. For the most part, big changes would be unfortunate with respect to senior housing market posts, notably the loss of housing minister Gavin Barwell.”

It was crucial, Challis said, that the new champions of housing market policy in government “reaffirmed commitments to the current policy direction rather than to create further disruption or uncertainty”.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, said: “This is a serious moment for the UK economy. The priority must be for politicians to get their house in order and form a functioning government, reassure the markets and protect our resilient economy.

“Politicians must act responsibly, putting the interests of the country first and showing the world that the UK remains a safe destination for business. It’s time to put the economy back to the top of the agenda.

Elsewhere in the markets, the FTSE 100 index was showing a 1% gain this morning, while the FTSE All Share and FTSE 350 were up by nearly that figure.