In an interim management statement, the company said that average weekly net private reservations were up 25.3% for the first 18 weeks of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. Both visitor numbers and the sales rate were up.
Private average selling price was up about 5% to £202,000, but this was due to changes in product mix rather than house price inflation.
Group chief executive Mark Clare said: “We have had our strongest spring selling season for five years. Our overall pricing levels have been maintained and average weekly net private reservations in the period are up 25% compared to last year. As a result we’re ahead on achieving our objectives of improving profitability and reducing net debt.”
Forecasts on debt and completions have both been upgraded. Reducing debt is a ket objective and by 30 June 2012 it is expected to be down to £275m, significantly below the previously expected £3250m.
For the full 2011/12 financial year, Barratt is now forecasting around 600 additional completions compared to previous expectations, resulting in total completions (excluding joint ventures), up from 11,078 in 2010/11.