Housebuilder says market “remains resilient” in trading update

Housebuilder Bellway saw a year on year sales rise of 5% in the six months to the end of January, it said today.

In a trading update in advance of interim results, the firm said that site visits so far this year were up 20% on 2010/11, and that the housing market “remains resilient.”

However, the firm said that while its operating profit margin is set to reach double figures over the period, growth in profits will now slow “to a more sustainable pace.”

The firm said sales rose to 2,455 homes over the period, with the average sales price increasing by 8.7%, largely because of a 15% growth in the number of private sales.

Over the last six months the group has seen 89 reservations per week on 205 sites, broadly comparable to the 80 reservations per week on 185 sites achieved in the same period in 2010/11.

“With visitor levels up by around 20% since the beginning of January and with the Government’s new ‘Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee’ (MIG) scheme about to be launched, early indications are that the housing market remains resilient. To what extent this resilience is sustainable can be better assessed at the end of March when the group announces its interim results,” it said.