Belfast Telegraph

Robust property market boosts new homes demand at Bellway

Housebuilder Bellway has said in a trading update that the residential property market remains "robust" as buyers ignored the General Election.

The Newcastle-based group said sales demand in the four months to June was strong, with a 13% increase in reservation rates to 221 per week.

As a result, Bellway added that it expects home sales to grow 10% in the full year as buyers continue to brush aside economic uncertainty unleashed by the Brexit vote and Prime Minister Theresa May's humiliation at the polls.

Chief executive Ted Ayres said: "Robust market conditions, together with a clear operational focus, is enabling Bellway to continue increasing its contribution to the supply of much-needed new homes.

"We have made a significant investment in land and work in progress over a number of years and this, together with a strong balance sheet and substantial operational capacity for expansion, should ensure that Bellway is well positioned to deliver further volume growth, this year and beyond."

Bellway added that the housing market continues to be supported by low unemployment, good availability of affordable mortgages and the Government's Help to Buy scheme.

Demand remains strong across all regions and has increased throughout spring, "unabated by any uncertainty in the weeks preceding the recent General Election", Bellway said.

The average price for its homes remained at £260,000 and the value of its forward order book of homes stands at £900 million, up from £846 million in the same period last year.

Bellway also said land investment was up, with 10,250 plots contracted, up from 8,600.

Shares rose more than 3% in morning trading to 2,951p.