Housebuidler now says it will build around 9,800 homes in the year to July
Housebuilder Bellway has upgraded expectations on the number of homes it expects to build in its current financial year running to 31 July.
In a half year trading update today, the firm said it now expected to complete 9,800 homes this financial year, up from the 9,400 it forecast in December.
The firm said that sales had started very strongly in August, and that after a dip in reservations for new homes at the end of 2020 as the industry transitioned to the new Help to Buy scheme, “sales rates have since recovered to a more normalised level, boosted by the effective transition to the new Help-to-Buy scheme”.
The firm said it completed 5,656 homes in the first half of the year, 6.3% up on the same period last year, with turnover rising 12% to £1.7bn.
The forecast of 9,800 completions this financial year would represent growth of just over 30% on the 7,522 completions in the firm’s pandemic-affected 2020 results. However, it would still be 10% below the number of home sales completed in 2019, prior to the impact of the covid-19 virus.
The firm’s order book has risen to 5,889, up from 4,598 at this point last year. Bellway said the growth in volume in the first half was due to “the exceptionally high order book and elevated construction progress at the start of the financial year”.
The first half of the financial year saw a weekly reservation rate of 191 per week, compared to 194 in the same period last year.
Chief executive Jason Honeyman said the firm had delivered an “excellent” first half performance, while maintaining its five-star quality rating. He said: “While uncertainty remains in the wider economy, the underlying demand for good quality new homes remains robust and we have therefore made further, disciplined investment in attractive land opportunities.
“Our balance sheet is strong, with significant cash resource and this provides the Group with the necessary resilience and flexibility to respond positively to the evolving economic environment.”