– Britain’s largest home builder, Barratt Developments Plc, said Thursday it plans to increase the number of home completions in the current fiscal year to pre-pandemic levels, dispelling concerns about the cooling of the housing market.
Cheap loans, a tax holiday of over a year expiring this month and a preference for larger homes from those who saved during the pandemic have boosted the UK housing market, though some data indicated a cooling of the sector recently.
CEO David Thomas said in a statement that there is “very strong demand for homes across the country,” adding that the company is also working towards its mid-term goal of 20,000 home completions per year.
Barratt said he expects to increase wholly-owned completions to between 17,000 and 17,250 in the fiscal year through June 30, 2022, with 750 additional joint venture completions also targeted. The company completed 17,856 units in the pre-pandemic fiscal year 2019.
The homebuilder said its forward sales – a key housing metric representing homes to be delivered and paid for at a later date – as of Aug. 22 stood at £ 3.94 billion ($ 5.43 billion ), compared to £ 3.71 billion in the 2020 period and £ 3.04 billion in the comparable period in 2019.
The FTSE 100 companies also declared a final dividend of 21.9 pence per share.
The UK’s second-largest homebuilder, Persimmon, and No.3 Taylor Wimpey last month also forecast strong demand for homes, even after the tax exemption expires. The company’s annual pre-tax profit was £ 812.2million, up from £ 491.8million in the pandemic-affected fiscal year 2020, but lower than the £ 909.8million reported l ‘last year.
($ 1 = 0.7256 pounds)