Bellway's profit boosted by Help to Buy

Helen Cahill
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A Bellway construction site in London (Source: Getty)

Housebuilder Bellway's profits were bumped up over the past year as it benefited from the government's Help to Buy scheme.

The figures

Bellway's pre-tax profits were up by 12.6 per cent over the year to 31 July, reaching £561m. Revenues jumped by over 14 per cent to £2.6bn, as compared to £2.2bn in the prior year.

Read more: Housebuilder share prices are on the up thanks to Theresa May

The number of sales that were assisted by the government's Help to Buy scheme rose from 30 per cent to 35 per cent. In London, 32 per cent of Bellway's sales were made using Help to Buy.

The average price of a Bellway home rose by three per cent from £252,793 to £260,354.

Why it's interesting

At the Conservative party conference, Theresa May confirmed that she would pump an extra £10bn into the government's controversial Help to Buy scheme. The policy has been criticised by think tanks for boosting demand, rather than supply, in the housing market, which critics say helps housebuilders more than would-be homeowners.

"Bellway demonstrated today that despite macro uncertainties and expectations of Bank rate rises new build homes are still selling like hot cakes and the group is doing its bit to increase the supply of homes to meet demand," said Anthony Codling, equity analyst at Jefferies.

Read more: The UK must get off the help to buy binge

He said that Help to Buy was important to the firm, but that it was selling the majority of its homes without the assistance of the government scheme.

What Bellway said

"The land market remains attractive, providing good quality opportunities at attractive rates of return and the planning environment is generally favourable," said John Watson, Bellway's executive chairman.

"Bellway has both the financial and operational capacity to capitalise on these investment opportunities. Whilst the skills shortage facing the entire construction sector is a moderator to the industry's overall ability to deliver growth, it is not preventing Bellway from continuing to increase its output of new homes."

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