Bellway plans to open more sites as winter sales recover

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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House builder Bellway expects to raise its housing sites from 185 to 200 by early next year.

The builder’s confidence has grown after reservations staged a recovery through the winter months following the unexpected Autumn lull in buying. But the builder warned reservations were still down on last year.

In a trading statement, Bellway said: “The decline in consumer confidence appears to have levelled out and encouragingly, people are still committing to purchase even at this time of year.”

Average selling prices are current 8.4% ahead of last year, mainly down to better product mix.

Bellway’s board predicts that sales in the half year to end January will be broadly in line with last year, with improved selling prices forecast to lift pre-tax profits by 20%.

The builder has bought 1,260 plots since August and still holds net cash.

Land teams are actively looking to secure further opportunities at attractive margins and the divisions are concentrated on bringing newly acquired sites to the market as quickly as possible to underpin the operating margin going forward.

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