Housing demand picking up, Bellway says

Bellway said it had built a record number of new homes in the first six months of the financial year.

The house builder said that 5,321 homes were finished in the half, a 6.3% rise on the year before.

It maintained course, saying that profit before tax for the full year is expected to be in line with market expectations.

“Bellway continues to increase the supply of affordably priced, good value new homes, following another successful trading period in which it has achieved further volume growth,” said chairman Paul Hampden Smith.

“Looking forward, a robust balance sheet, operational capacity for expansion and a strong order book should ensure that the group is well placed to deliver additional, long-term volume growth, thereby continuing our disciplined growth strategy.”

Despite political uncertainty towards the end of the calendar year, Bellway’s customers stayed interested, the company said. But with the election behind them, house buyers are coming out with “renewed consumer optimism” in 2020 which is helping the housing market.

The business has a mildly stronger order book of 4,598 homes, 11 ahead of last year. Yet the value of the same book is £8.2 million lower.

“There remains some cost pressure affecting the wider industry, however, trading conditions are encouraging and early indications suggest that there will be a return of the usual, traditionally strong spring selling season,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier this week, statistics from the National House Building Council (NHBC), a warranty and insurance provider, showed that more new homes were registered in 2019 across the UK than at any point since the financial crisis.

Last year 161,022 new homes were recorded, the highest since 198,693 in 2007. Houses are registered before being built, which means many will come to market this year.

On Wednesday Barratt Developments said it is ready for tough challenges in 2020 as it showed off a 91% jump in completed homes in the first half of its reporting period.