Bellway, the country’s fourth largest volume house builder, has issued a positive trading update. The number of completed sales increased by almost 5% to 4,595 homes (2009 – 4,380), at an average sales price of around £163,000 (2009 £154,005).
Conveyancers will welcome the news that “In the calendar year 2010 to date, the market would appear to have returned to its more usual profile of a spring peak followed by a quieter summer period.”
Bellway have expressed concerns about the wider economy but go on to state that “our divisions achieved a slightly higher reservation rate, during the financial year, of 89 per week (2009 – 85), with cancellation rates having returned to their normal level of around 13%. Against this background and provided the autumn market follows its usual pattern, then a combination of increased outlets and a current order book of £421 million (2009 – £368 million) could help the Group achieve its aspiration of producing volume growth in 2010/2011 of up to 10%.”
Bellway also continues to be active in the land acquisition market, especially in the south but is beginning to see more opportunities emerge from its northern divisions. With around £66 million of net cash at 31 July and with around 50% of next year’s target already secured, the Bellway reports that it is “is well positioned, at the start of its financial year, to exploit future market opportunities”.