Barratt profits down 15% amid reduced demand for homes

Barratt profits down 15% amid reduced demand for homes

Barratt's West Jackton Hall homes in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire

Barratt Developments has said it anticipates a 15% drop in profits this year amid a sharp decline in demand for homes, particularly from first-time buyers.

In a trading statement, the homebuilder said adjusted profit before tax is “anticipated to be in line with current market expectations”, which is currently £880.6 million – down from over £1 billion in the previous year.

Private reservations are down 32% on the previous year, with first-time buyer reservations reduced by 49% following the end of England’s Help to Buy scheme and rising mortgage rates. Demand amongst existing homeowners was more resilient.

However, Barratt said it maintained a stronge balance sheet with year-end net cash of around £1.1 billion and a solid order book for the 2024 financial year with total forward sales of 8,995 homes at a value of £2.2 billion (down from 13,579 homes valued at £3.6 billion this time last year).

David Thomas, chief executive at Barratt Developments, said: “During a year of economic and political uncertainty, we have delivered a strong operational and financial performance, while maintaining our industry-leading quality, customer service and sustainability credentials.

“Whilst the trading backdrop has become more challenging in recent months, with many of our customers facing significant cost of living pressures, we have responded decisively – increasing our reservations into the private rental sector, using incentives for customers in a disciplined way, and flexing our build activity, land-buying and operating costs to reflect market conditions.

“As a result, we enter the new financial year in a robust financial position with a solid forward order book and we are ready to respond to any further changes in the housing market.”

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