The government’s exposure to the housing market through Help to Buy has made the sector “too big to fail”.

Vistry chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said the next housing market downturn would differ from previous crashes because the government would have to explain the loss on its investment to voters.

Homes England, the government agency that runs the £16.05bn scheme, has forecast that it will recoup its investment in Help to Buy by 2032 and make a positive return on its investment by the time all loans are repaid in 2048.

Fitzgerald said the government’s exposure meant the industry was well placed to receive support coming out of the lockdown crisis, including a potential extension of the stamp duty holiday.