Yet more good news post Brexit in the domestic house building market as Bellway Homes announced their completions climbed 12.5% in the year ending July 31 2016, with the housebuilder seeing visitor numbers remain “strong overall” since the EU referendum result.
The house builder completed the sale of 8,721 homes during its financial year against the 7,752 achieved in the equivalent period of 2015, at an average selling price of £252,700, a climb of almost 13%. In response, housing revenue is expected to increase by around 27% to £2.2 billion.
Bellway said that in line with previous guidance, its pre-exceptional operating margin was expected to rise by around 150 basis points to approach 22%.
During the year to July 2016, the firm’s average reservations rose by more than 10% to 169 per week. Bellway reported a “substantial” forward order book consisting of 4,644 homes compared to 2015’s 4,568, with a value of £1,117.1 million (2015: £1,087.9 million) providing a “solid foundation for the next financial year”.
Since the referendum result, Bellway noted that a small number of visitors to its sites in London “at the higher value end” – where it has limited exposure - had shown “some modest caution”. “Overall, visitor numbers are still strong,” it added.
Ted Ayres, Bellway’s CEO, commented: “The group has delivered an outstanding trading performance, achieving new records for Bellway in respect of both volume and operating margin. The group is well placed to continue its sizeable contribution to meeting the UK’s requirement for new homes in the year ahead.
“It is still too early to assess the effect of the EU referendum result, however trading in recent weeks has been encouraging and Bellway, with its strong balance sheet and robust land bank, can be flexible and respond opportunistically to any changes in market conditions.”
Bellway is due to release its preliminary results on October 18.