But housebuilder says private reservations have jumped since start of last  month

Profit and revenue fell at Bellway in the first half but the housebuilder said the sector was now beginning to see some green shoots of recovery.

Pre-tax profit slumped 62% to £117m on turnover off by a third to £1.8bn in the six months to the end of January.

Housing completions were also down 28% to 4,092, with an average selling price of £309,278 although both figures were in line with the board’s expectations.


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Bellway said lower mortgage rates and the traditional spring selling season is tempting out more buyers

Net cash was substantially down to £76.6m from £292.5m while the firm said its underlying operating profit margin for the full-year will be down, “driven by a lower volume output and average selling price, together with the effects of build cost inflation and extended site durations”.

It said around 7,500 homes will be built in the current financial year, which ends on 31 July, compared to 10,945 last time.

But the firm said it was cheered by the news that in the six weeks since the beginning of last month, its private reservation rate increased by 21% to 163 per week which Bellway put down to mortgage rate hikes tapering off and the traditional spring selling season.

Bellway said its order book had increased on the back of recent trading to stand at 4,914 homes with a value of £1.3bn as of 10 March.