Upturn in housing market underlined as biggest house builder reports strong profit and sales surge

Britain's biggest house builder Barratt Developments is expecting a 73 per cent profit rise after a sales surge this year.

The company said today that it had attracted 17.9 per cent more net private reservations per active site per week in the second half of the financial year which ended 30 June, against the same period last year. Private completions rose by 16.1% over the same time period.

And since the launch of the government’s Help to Buy scheme on 1 April reservations have risen 34.7% on the previous year.

An interim statement released by Persimmon in April also showed enquiries had risen by 30 per cent since the chancellor announced the Help to Buy scheme, which loans deposit money to buyers.

The company is due to report its full annual accounts on 11 September when it is expected to report a before-tax profit of around £192m – 73 per cent more than the £110m reported last year.

The company is also busy acquiring land, paving the way for more developments in the future.

Group chief executive Mark Clare said house buyers were returning to the market because of better mortgage availability and Help to Buy.

"We are increasing our investment in land whilst reducing debt and have delivered a performance ahead of expectations," he said. 

"Momentum is continuing to build and with forward sales up substantially, we are confident we can improve our performance still further in the year ahead."

While performance in strongest in London and the South East, Barratt reports an improvement in all six of its regions.

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