Housebuilder says Help to Buy and planning reforms are aiding market ahead of firm’s AGM

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Private reservations of Redrow’s homes have rocketed 52% in the financial year to date, the housebuilder said today.

Ahead of the firm’s Annual General Meeting, Redrow chairman Steve Morgan said private reservations now stand at 1,400 homes, with Help to Buy reservations representing 35% of total private sales over the period.

Morgan also announced that cancellation rates have fallen to 12% compared with 17% last year and said that the firm has added 2,000 plots across 15 sites to its land bank, which now stands at just over 15,000 plots.

He said: “Redrow has continued to make good progress in a market strengthened by the increased availability of first time buyer mortgages as a result of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. 

“The average selling price of private reservations in the year to date is 11% ahead of the same period last year, at £271,000.  This is predominantly due to change in geographical mix, including an increase in London sales, together with a small element of house price inflation.”

Morgan added that the increase in Redrow’s land bank - which represents contracted or owned land with planning permission - had been helped by changes in the planning system brought about by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

But he noted that more than 5,000 of the housebuilder’s plots remained in the planning system awaiting reserved matters approval or clearance of pre-start conditions.

“The regulatory burden involved in obtaining detailed permission and clearing conditions is the biggest constraint to the industry increasing production,” he said.

Redrow’s investment in new land had seen its net debt increase to around £120m from £91m in June.