Berkeley has warned its value of private sales reservations has fallen 35 per cent on last year, reflecting the challenges facing the housing market.
The housebuilder said the drop echoed the “elevated macroeconomic and political volatility”.
It comes after house prices in August were revealed to be 4.6 per cent lower than the same month a year earlier, the worst since 2009 and the financial crisis.
Roaring mortgage rates and Bank of England interest rate rises have continued to pile on the misery for the UK’s housing sector.
Berkeley said pricing was “resilient”, citing a “constrained supply” of new builds and existing homes, in a trading update published ahead of their annual general meeting (AGM) today.
Pre-tax profits are expected to hit at least £1.05bn across the current and next financial years. While business anticipates having £325m in net cash at the end of October this year.
Shareholders will receive a dividend of £63.1m, the company added.
But the housebuilder warned issues with the UK’s “complex” planning system and “uncertain” regulatory changes continued to put off investment into brownfirled and housing.
“Consequently, Berkeley has not acquired any land in the period and will only invest very selectively in new opportunities,” the group said.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, commented: “Housebuilder Berkeley surprised nobody with its trading update but a 35 per cent drop in reservations tells you just how tough the housing market is right now.
“The company is sticking with guidance but a grumble at the planning system suggested the sector’s current travails are prompting some testiness. That’s not to say such complaints aren’t justified given how under-resourced many local planning departments are.”