A move back to houses aids Bellway sales

Marion Dakers
RENEWED demand for traditional two-storey homes helped housebuilder Bellway post a 7.6 per cent rise in its average sale price yesterday.

Bellway said in an update that it sold 2,332 properties in the six months to the end of January, a rise of 3.8 per cent on last year.

The FTSE 250-listed firm has shifted its property mix away from flats in the past year, which has helped push its average property sale price to £168,000 at a time when property values have dipped.

Around 65 per cent of Bellway customers currently buy more traditional homes, though finance director Alistair Leitch said this is likely to stabilise as a swathe of flats in East London start to sell in the run-up to the Olympics.

Leitch said the overall pick-up in sales had potential to continue in 2011. “The early signs that we’ve had in January are encouraging,” he said.

“Can we keep that momentum going through to Easter? ... As long as we don’t have anything untoward happening to the UK economy or to the world political situation, then we should be okay,” Leitch said.

Bellway shares rose 2.8 per cent to close at 657.5p yesterday.