Buyers queuing for homes, says Barratt’s chief

HOUSEBUILDER Barratt Developments yesterday said queues were forming for its housing schemes for the first time since the financial crisis, as the market recovery spreads beyond southeast England.

Britain’s largest housebuilder by volume, said yesterday that buyer appetite for its homes was so strong that for some sites it was making five to 10 sales on the day of a scheme’s launch.

“We are seeing some very, very strong interest on new sites that we’re launching around the country, even to the point where we’re starting to see queues ... which is not something we have seen for many, many years.” chief executive Mark Clare said.

Britain’s housing market, which declined following the financial crisis, has revived in recent months thanks to government efforts to ease mortgage lending, as well as a general increase in confidence in the health of the economy.

Barratt, which reported a 74 per cent increase in full-year profit before tax and exceptional items to £192.3m in the year to 30 June, has been a big beneficiary of Help to Buy, which accounted for almost 30 per cent of its reservations in the first 10 weeks of the current financial year.

The company said it had seen a 29.4 per cent rise in average net private reservations across the group, while private forward sales were up a huge 44.4 per cent to £880.4m at 8 September.

Its average selling price rose to £194,800 from £180,500 a year ago, while private average selling prices increased by six per cent to £213,900.