Trio of trading updates show stabilisation in the housebuilding sector, with two reporting rise in sales

Galliford Try emerges as the runaway winner in trading updates from three housebuilders released this morning.

The Middlesex-based builder, also heavily involved in general contracting, ended June with net cash of £35m at 30 June 2009, wiping out the £2m debt it had at the same time last year.

Sales of its homes were up 7% on last year, at £161m, although housing completions fell to 1,769 units from 2,524 last year.

The firm said that 88% or £1.7bn of its work had come from the public sector.

Meanwhile, Barratt Developments said it continued to meet targets on completions and margins in the second half of its financial year. Completions for the whole year fell to 13,202, from 18,588 a year earlier, and prices down 14%.

Group chief executive Mark Clare said: “We have seen higher sales rates, lower cancellations and prices levelling.”

Redrow also saw a dramatic fall in its average sales price, from £156,900 to £137,500, a 14% fall. The firm completed 2,113 homes in the year ending 30 June, down from 3,925. It warned that its trading results were at the “lower end of analyst's estimates”.

Both Barratt and Redrow said a mortgage drought put a continued recovery in peril. Redrow said that the drought in the mortgage market was "without doubt... a major obstacle to the recovery of the housing market".

It added: "We are of the view that resolving this issue can play a significant role in a recovery of the economy as a whole."