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Bellway posts strong trading figures

Bellway is the latest housing developer to record strong trading figures, with growth in the number of completions and the average selling price of its properties.Overall housing revenue rose by 41 per cent to around £690 million in the six months ended January 31st. Completions were up 25 per cent on the previous year, to 3,245 homes - a rate which benefited from the strong brought forward order book at August 1st 2014.The average selling price of a Bellway property rose by 13 per cent on the previous year, to £212,000. The sale of several high-value London apartments contributed to this figure, in addition to a large number of completions in the south of England, where prices are particularly high.Strong demand in the UK housing market, in addition to the widespread availability of finance, particularly in the form of the Help to Buy initiative, contributed to the group's performance.Acquisitions met or exceeded Bellway's minimum criteria by reference to both gross margin and return on capital employed. The group invested £240 million in land, partly as a result of improved opportunities for acquisitions. It has also agreed heads of terms on a further 4,700 plots, with a value of £217 million.Bellway expects legal completions to increase by over 15 per cent for the full financial year, due in large part to the ongoing investment in land and the strength of its forward order book.The company's announcement follows strong trading figures from Barratt and Taylor Wimpey homes, which were also buoyed by the Help to Buy initiative. In January, Taylor Wimpey recorded a seven per cent rise in the number of home completions, which grew to 11,696. There was also a six per cent rise in the average selling price of its properties, to £191,000.Barratt's home completions climbed by 19.3 percent on the previous year, to 6,195 over the course of six months. The average selling price of a Barratt home rose 13.7 per cent to £211,000. 

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