Housebuilder welcomes rise in home completions in half year trading

BARRATT Developments has hailed an ‘excellent’ performance in the half year ended 31 December 2020.

The housebuilder has issued a trading update ahead of publication of its interim results on February 4.

For the period reported, Barratt delivered 9,077 home completions, up 9.2% on last year. The firm revealed that growth benefited from both the elevated level of work in progress carried into the new financial year and a higher opening forward sales position, due to the initial national lockdown delaying completions.

Barratt’s total average selling price increased by 1.1% to around £283,000, slightly higher than 2019’s £279.800. Total forward sales as at 31 December 2020 have increased by 14.3% to 13,588 homes (2019: 11,885 homes). The housebuilder added it is now over 90% forward sold for this financial year.

In terms of outlook, Barratt said that based on current market conditions and site construction activity, the business expects wholly owned completions to be between 15,250 and 15,750 homes in FY21. A lower level of completions are expected in the second half of the year relative to the first half, reflecting the reduced level of work in progress carried forward at December 2020 compared to June 2020 and, as a result, a greater reliance on construction activity in the half year ahead.

Chief executive David Thomas said, “Throughout the pandemic, our teams have worked hard to make our operations Covid-secure and our first priority continues to be keeping our employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers safe. I’d like to thank our people for their efforts in helping us to rebuild completion volumes, drive further operational improvements and deliver on our commitment to build the highest quality homes across the country. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, we are confident that our operating performance and strong financial position provide us with the resilience and flexibility to respond to the operating environment in FY21 and beyond.”