Bellway says government schemes boost buyer demand

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Housebuilder Bellway today said the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme has helped drive a better-than-expected surge in demand as its order book jumped more than 50 per cent.

In a trading update, the Newcastle-based group said revenues for the year to the end of July rose 12 per cent to about £1.1 billion, with profit margins also improving.

It said “resilience in consumer demand” lifted its order book of new homes 54 per cent to £679.5 million, giving it “optimism for future volume growth”.

Chief executive Ted Ayres said: “The new homes market has benefitted from improving consumer confidence throughout the year, having been supported by government schemes.”

The Help to Buy programme was launched in April, offering loans to give people the chance to buy a new-build home with a deposit of just 5 per cent.

It will be expanded to offer mortgage guarantees next year – where the state takes on the risk of default by borrowers by guaranteeing a proportion of a home loan.

Bellway sold 5,652 homes during the year, up 8.2 per cent on a year earlier, while average prices rose 3 per cent to £193,000.

The firm is due to publish its full-year results on 15 October.