Is this the UK housing market's new "normal"? Barratt share price up as revenues rise 21pc

Emma Haslett
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Shares in housebuilders are underperforming the market on worries of cooling house prices (Source: Getty)

The UK housing market has returned to "normal seasonal trends" in 2014 after the frenzy created by the launch of Help to Buy last year, Barratt Developments said this morning while posting a 21.1 per cent rise in annual revenues.

Revenues at the housebuilder rose to £3.1bn for the year to the end of June, up from £2.6bn last year, while pre-tax profit almost tripled to £390.6m. Completions rose to 14,838, up 8.6 per cent from the year before, while average selling price jumped 12.9 per cent to £219,900.

The company also promised to return £950m to shareholders over the next few years.

Despite that, though, shares dipped in early trading, before rising 0.8 per cent by mid-morning. Although housebuilders have performed well over the last couple of years, they are currently under-performing the market, mainly due to fears of a cooling housing market.

On Monday, figures by Halifax showed UK house price growth slowed to 3 per cent in the three months to August, down from 3.5 per cent in July.

Barratt chief executive Mark Clare said the company's "significant improvement" had been driven by a £3.8bn investment in land since 2009, adding that the company is targeting a return on capital of "at least 25 per cent".

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