Barratt ups building goal after strong start to 2012
Barratt Developments has increased its forecast for the number of homes it will build this year following a strong start to 2012.
In an interim management statement issued today (10 May), the house builder says it has had the strongest spring selling season for five years, and is raising its forecasts for completions over its financial year to 12,600 homes, up from 11,078 in 2010/11. Around 22 per cent are expected to be affordable or social housing.
In the statement, which covers the period from 1 January 2012 to 6 May 2012, the builder says private reservations are up 25.3 per cent on last year, average selling price is up 5 per cent, and the value of its private forward sales stands at £827.9 million, up 16 per cent on the same point last year.
The builder also reports that there has been strong interest in the government’s Newbuy mortgage indemnity scheme, which encourages lenders to offer 95 per cent loan to value mortgages by providing government-backed security. It says around 1,600 customers have been registering their interest in Barratt’s scheme each week since it launched.
The statement is in contrast to those issued by other developers, who have warned the interest rates lenders are offering for Newbuy products is putting off potential customers.
Barratt also reports it has made successful use of the government’s Firstbuy shared equity scheme, and is involved in the Get Britain building programme, which offers loans and equity stakes to get stalled schemes moving.
Barratt chief executive Mark Clare said: ‘We have had our strongest spring selling season for five years. Our overall pricing levels have been maintained and average weekly net private reservations in the period are up 25 per cent compared to last year. As a result we’re ahead on achieving our objectives of improving profitability and reducing net debt.’