Biggest housebuilder in UK appears unaffected by Brexit

Thu, 08 Sep 2016

Biggest housebuilder in UK appears unaffected by Brexit
Barratt Developments, the UK's largest housebuilder, has reported an increase in demand for its sales post-Brexit, suggesting that the decision to leave the EU might not hurt the housing market as much as expected.

Barratt revealed it had delivered 17,300 homes - an eight-year high - in the year to the end of June, a rise of 5.3 per cent. Additionally, sales from the start of July onwards have been up 4.1 per cent on the same period last year.

The strong activity has helped pre-tax profits soar 20.7 per cent to £682m for the company, while revenue has risen 12.7 per cent, up to £4.2bn.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt, said: "We had a very strong start to the year. The prior year is a strong comparator so this is very pleasing. We really see that this is about business as usual."

However, Mr Thomas acknowledged the company is unlikely to maintain this strong level of growth for too long, with a more moderate growth of 3 per cent predicted in the next three to five years.

He also added: "There remains an under-supply of new homes, strong government support including Help to Buy and a mortgage market willing to lend. As a result, we remain confident in the underlying fundamentals of both the housing sector and our business."

First-time buyers can use the government's Help to Buy schemes to join the property ladder, but experts have said they will struggle to do so due to the lack of affordable housing.
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