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Sun September 26 2021

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Bellway boosted by steady reservations

7 Dec 10 Housebuilder Bellway says that its autumn business has been better than it feared in the wake of the spending review, signalling that the decline in consumer confidence has levelled out.

Home reservations since the government's Comprehensive Spending Review have been ahead of the board's expectations, the company said, although for the four months to 30 November were still slightly down compared with the same period last year.                              

The group currently has 3,614 sales (2009 - 3,486) secured for this financial year and a further 400 (2009 - 598) for the next financial year. The average selling price for all these sales is £167,600 which is 8.4% ahead compared to this time last year, mainly as a result of the continuing change in product mix.

Bellway’s board expects unit completions in the six months to 31 January 2011 to be similar to last year, but a slightly higher average selling price will push net profit before tax up by as much as 20%.

The number of selling outlets is expected to increase from 185 to around 200 in early 2011.

Bellway acquired 1,260 plots in the September to November period and its land teams are looking for more.

How Bellway’s financial year, ending 31 July 2011, ultimately plans out depends greatly on the level of consumer confidence during the spring selling season, the company said. This in turn depends on “a reasonable supply of affordable mortgages combined with sensible lending criteria”.

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