Barratt said that a favourable land market, good mortgage availability and a supportive government policy environment has boosted its performance in 2017.
“Given good demand and our healthy forward order book we continue to expect to deliver modest growth in wholly owned completions in FY18,” the statement said.
Total average selling price (ASP) on completions increased by 6.5% in the period to c.£281k, up from £263.8k in 2016; private ASP was up by 5.9% to c.£314k benefiting from mix as well as some underlying house price inflation.
Total forward sales were up 2.0% on the prior year at a value of £2,383.8m (2016: £2,336.6m), equating to 10,921 plots (2016: 10,520 plots). Private forward sales were up 0.4% at a value of £1,457.8m (2016: £1,451.8m), equating to 4,209 plots (2016: 4,037 plots).
Net cash as at 31 December 2017 was c.£165m, down from £196.7m in 2016. This reflects land purchases, normal seasonal trends and the payment of £348m of dividends in November, up £100mn the previous year
David Thomas, Chief Executive said, “We have delivered a strong performance in the first half, underpinned by our focus on quality, design and industry-leading customer service.
“As the UK’s largest housebuilder we remain firmly committed to helping address the housing shortage whilst delivering excellent operational and financial performance.
“In 2018 we are celebrating our 60th anniversary, and we are proud that we have built more than 450,000 homes across the country since 1958.”