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Barratt building boost suggests market booming

Barratt building boost suggests market booming

Barratt Homes has reported that it is set for its highest number of completions since 2008, news that adds to the evidence that the UK housing market is continuing to perform well.

The firm's latest statement, covering activity between the start of the year and May 7th, said 46 new sites had started work so far this year and activity is taking place on 384, up from 375 a year ago. 

More importantly, the company stated, the number of new homes being completed is set to hit a nine-year high of 17,350.

Naturally enough, the company is very happy, as pre-tax profits are expected to be between £675 million and £733 million, figures described in the announcement as "at the top of the range of current analyst estimates".

Chief executive David Thomas remarked: "This has been another strong period both operationally and financially for the group. We remain firmly committed to delivering industry leading build quality and customer service, recognised by the award of the Home Builder Federation’s maximum five-star customer satisfaction rating for the eighth consecutive year."

The news is not just good for Barratt shareholders and staff, for it also means more construction jobs, as well as an increase in the supply of new homes. 

Indeed, with the national tally hitting 190,000 last year, just 10,000 shy of the government target, Britain may not be so far off achieving the level of new housebuilding it needs. However, having set a target of building a million new homes between 2015 and 2020, the government's white paper published earlier this year raised tah target to 250,000.

The growth in housebuilding had slowed somewhat in recent months, according to the Markit / CIPS Purchasing Managers Index surveys, but the April survey provided evidence that activity had rebounded positively. 

Noting that the output in this sector was the strongest so far in 2017, Markit economist Tim Moore said the data offered "more encouraging signs from the house building sector".

Image: iStock


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