Help to Buy lifts sales at Tyneside-founded Barratt Developments

Housebuilder Barratt Developments has reported a significant lift in sales across all six of its operating regions

Barratt housing chief executive Mark Clare
Barratt housing chief executive Mark Clare

Housebuilder Barratt Developments has reported a significant lift in sales across all six of its operating regions.

The firm, founded in Newcastle, issued a trading update for the 19-week period from July 1 to November 10, which showed that private forward sales were up by 46.7% on the previous year, to £1,1bn, equating to 4,514 plots.

Of this, 4,339 plots are expected to be completed in the 2014 financial year.

Barratt said the government’s Help to Buy scheme has continued to provide strong support to the mark, speeding up the recovery in consumer demand for new homes.

Since the scheme’s launch, over 2,800 of its reservations, excluding joint ventures, have used the scheme.

The company, which is now headquartered in Coalville, Leicestershire, also said it had continued to secure excellent land opportunities, with 8,150 plots approved in the period, a big increase on the 3,685 plots approved,

It also warned that greater development activity across the industry has led to increased pressure on the supply of materials, but that it actively manages its supply chain.

“Our strong supplier relationships combined with our centralised procurement approach, has resulted in no adverse impact on the Group’s build programmes or costs to date,” the firm said.

It said it was continuing a “disciplined approach” to land buying to secure prime land opportunities.

In London and the South East, where the land market is more competitive, it is targeting more complex, larger sites.

Group chief executive Mark Clare said: “The market remains strong, driven by better lending conditions and improving customer confidence; we are increasing production and investment for the future.

“Our disciplined approach to land buying over the last four years is bringing forward high return sites into production and we continue to secure excellent land opportunities.

“With better market conditions and the benefits of high return land, we are confident that we will deliver substantial improvements in our performance for the full year.”

The firm was holding its AGM yesterday, where Rod MacEachrane was stepping down as a non-executive director after seven and a half years on the board.

The company added: “Rod has made an outstanding contribution to the Group and we wish him well for the future.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer