News Column

Housebuilding Profits to soar as Barratt rides property boom

July 11, 2014

Julia Kollewe

Barratt has become the latest housebuilder to benefit from Britain's housing boom, saying it expects annual profits to more than double.

The country's biggest housebuilder by volume predicted it would make a pretax profit of about pounds 390m in the year to 30 June, better than City forecasts.

It sold 14,838 homes during the year, 8.6% more than in the previous year. The average price climbed 13% to pounds 220,000, reflecting a shift towards building larger family homes as well as the strong housing market.

Mark Clare, chief executive, said Barratt's house sales were at their highest level for six years and its order book was strong, with forward sales up 45% to pounds 1.2bn.

"The recovery has extended beyond London and the south-east, and we are seeing increased confidence and activity in all the regional markets," he said. "This is a strong sign of a real economic recovery."

Clare welcomed the Bank of England's moves to rein in mortgage lending, saying they were sensible. "We want long-term stability," he said. "Ideal for us would be house prices running in line with wage inflation." Julia Kollewe

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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