THE average house price and the number of homes sold by builder Bellway are both up on last year.
The Newcastle-based business sold 2,597 homes, an increase of 5.8%, at an average of £187,000, 2.3% higher than the previous year, in the six months to the end of January. Bellway said it expects the average selling price to continue rising for the rest of its financial year.
Government schemes to help first time buyers on to the housing ladder played a key role in increasing the reservation rate.
Bellway said: “Customers' ability to access higher loan to value mortgage finance through the NewBuy and MI New Home mortgage indemnity schemes has also benefited the weekly sales rate, with these schemes having accounted for 11% of reservations taken.
“The use of other incentives continues to be used widely, although the use of shared equity has been restricted to only 3% of reservations in the period (2012 - 5%).”
The order book stood at 2,467 units at the end of January, today’s trading update said.
Bellway said: “With 82% of the full year target now secure, the board expects to achieve volume growth of around 5% in the current financial year, assuming reservations over the spring selling season follow their usual upward trend.
“The group is therefore well placed to deliver further growth in profit and shareholder return through its continuing strategy of growth in volume, average selling price and operating margin.”