Barratt buoyed by booming regions despite fall in completions

David Thomas
David Thomas

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said that market conditions remained healthy and demand strong, despite a 5.8 per cent drop in home completions.

In a trading update for the six months to 31st December 2016, Barratt said home completions rose to a nine-year high, though overall figures were offset by a 56 per cent drop in completions in London during the period.

Completions in London, including joint ventures, fell to 367 in the first half, down from 842 in the same period a year earlier, “primarily driven by the planned build programme between the first and second half impacting wholly owned site product availability”.

Total home completions for the period, including joint ventures, totalled 7,180, down from 7,626 in the first half of 2015.

Total average selling price on completions rose 3.9 per cent to £264,000, and on private home sales the average price rose 5.3 per cent to £296,000.

Barratt said average price increases were down to the sales mix “as well as some underlying house price inflation”.

Chief executive David Thomas said: “Consumer demand is strong benefiting from good mortgage availability and ongoing government support.”

Profit before tax for the half-year is expected to be up around 7 per cent to approximately £315 million, (2015: £295.0m) while total forward sales (including joint ventures) are up 16 per cent at £2,336.6m and wholly-owned forward sales are up 35 per cent to £2,167.5m.

Mr Thomas added: “This has been another good half year for the group. Consumer demand is strong benefiting from good mortgage availability and ongoing government support. Our healthy forward order book and this strong demand leaves us on track to deliver on our volume guidance for the full year.”

Barratt Developments sold 17,319 homes in the year to June 2016, making it the biggest house-builder by volume in Britain.

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