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Barratt Homes sees house completions jump 20%

Barratt Homes’ total housing completions increased by nearly 20 per cent for the six months to 31 December 2013, according to its trading update this morning.

Completions jumped to 6,195 over the six months compared with 5,194 in the same period in 2012, which represented a 19.3 per cent increase year on year.

The announcement comes ahead of the group’s interim results, due to be published on 27 February.

Private completions were up 22.7 per cent to 5,202 against 4,241 in 2012, with joint venture completions rising to 242 compared with 109 for 2012.

A recent report by commercial property and investment firm CBRE showed Barratt Homes nearly topping private housing growth in London.

However, affordable housing completions fell by nearly 100 units to 751, compared with 844 unit completions in 2012.

Help to Buy was again hailed as having a positive impact on demand in the market, with 29 per cent of Barratt Homes’ total completions using the scheme.

The group said it continued to see “excellent opportunities” in the landbuying market across all divisions, with approved purchases of 11,394 plots for the six months to December 2013, compared with 9,320 plots for the same period the year before.

The group is now focusing on acquiring land from the public sector and sites which are larger or more “technically complex” in the South-east and London, where the market is more competitive, it said.

In December last year, Barratt Homes launched a 50:50 joint venture with housing association London & Quadrant for its BDWZest Developments.

Barratt Homes chief executive Mark Clare said the increase in housing completions was down to a “continued recovery” in the housing market across all regions and a £3.1bn investment in new land over the last four years.

He added: “Our disciplined approach to running the business is delivering significant improvements across all key financial metrics and, with forward sales of over £1.2bn, we are well placed for FY 2014 and beyond.”

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