Housebuilder Bellway's share price climbs after positive set of results

Helen Cahill
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Zac Goldsmith And David Cameron Visit A Housing Construction Site
Bellway says it is too early to tell what the effect of the Brexit vote on the housing market has been (Source: Getty)

Residential property builder Bellway's share price climbed this morning after a strong set of results, rising 4.19 per cent in morning trading.

But the company said it is "cautious" about how many sites it acquires after to the Brexit vote.

Bellway added: "Since the result of the EU referendum, there has been some modest caution from a small number of visitors to our developments at the higher value end of the London market".

Read more: House prices fell month-on-month in July, according to Halifax

5 August 2016 @ 8:45amBellway (BWY)

The figures

Bellway said this morning that it is expecting its housing revenue to grow by 27 per cent in the full year, from £1.7m in 2015 to £2.2bn this year.

The company expects its operating margin to come close to 22 per cent and its net cash to hit £26m - as compared to a net bank debt of £38.5m in 2015.

The number of housing completions will be 8,721, a 12.5 per cent increase on last year, Bellway said, and its order book, valued at £1.1bn provides "a solid foundation to the next financial year."

Why it's interesting

All eyes have been on the housing market since the Brexit vote, as investors, homeowners, and house-hunters try to work out how the nation's wealth is faring.

Most housebuilders have maintained - as Bellway did this morning - that it is too early to tell what effect, if any, the outcome of the referendum has had on the market, but there are signs things are slowing down. Halifax reported this morning that house prices fell in July, and Knight Frank said earlier this week than prime London property prices have been hit.

Developers will argue that the fundamentals of the market are strong - a favourable balance between supply and demand, low mortgage rates - and that even if there is a drop in house prices, these are likely to recover within about 18 months, as they did in the 2008 financial crisis. Others have argued Brexit is merely a trigger for a long-overdue recalibration of property prices.

What Bellway said

Ted Ayres, Bellway's chief executive, said:

The group has delivered an outstanding trading performance, achieving new records for Bellway in respect of both volume and operating margin.

It is still too early to assess the effect of the EU referendum result, however trading in recent weeks has been encouraging and Bellway, with its strong balance sheet and robust land bank, can be flexible and respond opportunistically to any changes in market conditions.

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