In mid October we saw three directors (two executive, one non exec) buying significant positions in Barratt Developments (BDEV) . Was this in anticipation of Gordon Browns aggressive house building targets for the UK in order to satisfy housing demand?

Conversely Simon Hope, director of Savills (SVS) , last week exercised some share options and sold a significant chunk of stock (taking a net £350k off the table), even after a 50% fall in the share price since April.  I would suggest this to be a negative sign for the real estate sector in the UK, and an indication that volumes have significant downside risk over the next six to twelve months.

The best indicator of upcoming risk in the sector was the decision by Jon Hunt, the founder of Foxtons, to sell out in May pocketing £370m.

For a buying signal, we need to see directors from across the sector putting money to work. This could be a while coming.