Bellway sales hit by government cuts

City A.M. Reporter
Housebuilder Bellway reported full year results in line with expectations with uncertainty around the government's spending review hitting sales.

"Sales in the early part of what is traditionally an active autumn selling period have picked up, albeit only slightly, following the usual summer lull," chairman Howard Dawe said.

"It seems that potential homebuyers are awaiting the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review," he added.

A stagnant housing market will add to the gloom of the coalition government's austerity measures, with spending cuts to be announced on Wednesday.

Bellway, the UK's fifth largest housebuilder by market value, reported a pretax profit of £44.4m in the 12 months to end July compared with £29.8m in 2009.

Market expectations had ranged between £41.5 and £49m.

Fears of a slowdown have been cemented in the past month as weak house price data has reinforced anecdotal stories of a stagnant housing market.

House prices suffered their sharpest fall in 16 months in September according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as home owners rushed to sell before painful public spending cuts kick in next year.

This came a week after mortgage lender Halifax reported the sharpest drop in house prices on record in September.