The average number of housing sites being targeted amounts to 17% more than the previous year’s figure and promises a welcome boost to trade contractors.
The firm said private reservations were up 26% between July and mid-November. The rise was helped by starting more sites and an improved reservation rate per site.
In a trading update to the city, Mark Clare, Group CEO said: “Our total active sites have increased as we have brought newly-acquired higher margin land into production.
“Average active sites were 379 in the period up from 349 in the prior year.
“We anticipate that total active sites will increase to 410 by the financial year end in June 2012, equating to an average of 390 for the year.”
He said that small market improvements had improved sales but warned: “However it is clear that unless we see a significant increase in the availability of mortgage finance then future growth prospects for the industry will remain constrained.”
Average weekly net private reservations increased from 158 last year to 199 driven by increased site numbers and higher reservation rates per site.
This equated to 0.53 net private reservations per active site per week, up from 0.45 during the same period last year.
Social housing accounted 17% of total completions, down from 23.5% in the first half of the year. These are expected to fall further and account for a fifth of total completions at year end.
Barratt predicted 60% of the firm’s total house completions would be delivered in the second half of the year.
It said net debt stood at around £620 but would fall to £400m by June next year.