Housebuilder reports 21% rise in forward sales in Q1 trading update

Barratt has reported a 21% jump in forward sales in a first quarter trading update to the City.

In the 19-week period between 1 July and 8 November, forward sales including joint ventures were up to £2.5bn, equating to 11,033 plots, compared to £2.1bn and 9,734 plots for the same period the previous year.

Net private reservations per week increased by 12.5% to 261, compared to 232 in 2014.

The housebuilder also launched 49 new developments in the period, in line with expectations, and said it expects to see “controlled growth in site numbers” in 2016.

Barratt said it has also recruited 250 new graduates, trainees and apprentices for 2016 to “address the need for skilled labour.”

David Thomas, the firm’s chief executive, said: “Against the backdrop of a significant structural shortage of new homes in Britain, we have made a strong start to the year.

“Operationally the business is performing well with strong sales, good control of input costs and continued land investment.

“Our targeted recruitment programme has delivered a further 250 new apprentices, graduates and trainees to the business.

“With our disciplined strategy and focus on achieving efficiencies across the business, we are on track to deliver further good progress in FY16.”