Belfast Telegraph

Bellway profits rise 9.3% to £247m as house buyers shrug off Brexit uncertainty

Housebuilder Bellway has posted a healthy rise in half-year profits as buyers brushed aside economic uncertainty unleashed by the Brexit vote.

The Newcastle-based group said pre-tax profits rose 9.3% to £247.6 million in the six months ended January 31, while revenue was up 5.9% to £1.1 billion.

Completions increased 6.5% to a record 4,462 in the period, with the average selling price of its homes expected to rise to around £260,000 in 2017, up from £252,000 last year.

Chief executive Ted Ayres said: "Customer demand for new homes remains strong, reinforced by a national shortage of housing in the UK and further supported by high employment, good mortgage availability and low interest rates.

"In addition, the Government's Help to Buy shared equity scheme continues to support volume growth in the new build sector, providing a popular and cost-effective source of finance for consumers.

"With such strong demand, the wider economic uncertainty following the EU referendum has not had any meaningful effect on purchasers' willingness to acquire a Bellway property in those parts of the country where the group operates."

The firm said customer demand remains strong, resulting in the reservation rate increasing by 6.4% to 166 sales per week.

Bellway added that the number of homes sold for the full year is expected to rise by "at least 5%".

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