Barratt boosts hopes for housing market post-stamp duty holiday

Barratt Developments today boosted hopes that the housing market will cope once the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday finishes at the end of March.

The housebuilder revealed that 11,588 homes had been secured for completion beyond that date, part of a “strong” forward sales position worth £3.42 billion.

Barratt underlined its optimism in half-year results by reinstating its dividend at 7.5p a share and revealing it spent £320 million on land amid a greater range of buying opportunities.

Chief executive David Thomas said: “Whilst we are mindful of the continued economic uncertainties, the housing market fundamentals remain attractive and our outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.”

He said Barratt achieved a “fantastic” performance in the six months to the end of December, with a record 9,077 home completions leading to a 10% jump in revenues to £2.49 billion. Profits improved 1.7% to £430.2 million.

Barratt shares rose by 24.6p to 698p as it stuck by forecasts for completions of between 15,250 and 15,750 across the financial year.

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