"We have maintained balance sheet resilience and, supported by the strength of our land bank, Bellway remains well-placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities and will continue to play an important role in increasing housing supply in the years ahead"
- Jason Honeyman - Bellway
Bellway's latest trading update has revealed that the firm completed 4,092 homes in the six months ending 31 January 2024. This was 28% down on the same period a year ago when it completed 5,695.
Bellway's average selling price was £309,300 during the period compared to 2023's £316,929. The housebuilder now expects to complete around 7,500 homes in the full year, compared to 10,945 the year before.
The firm said that housing revenue was more than £1.25bn (2023 - £1.8049 billion), in line with its expectations. The private reservation rate increased by 15.4% to 105 per week (2023 - 91), representing a private reservation rate per outlet per week of 0.43 (2023 - 0.38). The overall reservation rate rose slightly to 140 per week (2023 - 138).
Bellway said: “The reduction in mortgage interest rates throughout the first half has led to encouraging levels of customer enquiries in the traditionally quieter winter trading period, and an improvement in the private reservation rate during January to 0.59 per outlet per week (January 2023 - 0.45).” Bellway opened 34 new outlets in the six-month period and says it has plans to open more than 40 additional new outlets in the second half of the financial year.
“If market conditions remain stable and recent reservation rates are sustained throughout the spring selling season, we are well-placed to build the order book through the second half which will serve as a platform for a return to growth from financial year 2025.”
Jason Honeyman, Bellway group chief executive, said: "Bellway has delivered another resilient performance in a period of challenging trading conditions. While the economic backdrop remains uncertain, the gradual reduction in mortgage interest rates through the first half has eased affordability constraints and we are encouraged by the seasonal pick-up in customer leads and an improvement in reservations since the start of the new calendar year.
"We have maintained balance sheet resilience and, supported by the strength of our land bank, Bellway remains well-placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities and will continue to play an important role in increasing housing supply in the years ahead."