Bellway orders jump on Help to Buy boost

 

Housebuilder Bellway saw its order book swell to £783 million at the end of January as buyers continued to feast on the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

The company, which has benefited from the upturn in the housing market, said the average selling price of a house rose 13 per cent to £212,000 in the six months ending January 31.

London apartments were in particular demand again. Last year, Bellway completed the sale of 25 apartments at its Chelsea Reach scheme at an average price of more than £700,000 each.

Bellway shares have almost doubled over the past year and rose a further 24p to 1636p today.

The housebuilder said it had invested £240 million in land during the period, adding that its low debt and bank facilities meant it would continue acquiring development sites over the coming months.

“The group is well positioned to deliver further volume growth and as a consequence, the board now expects legal completions to increase by over 15 per cent for the full financial year,” Bellway said in a statement.

The news comes a day after a survey by insurer Genworth revealed that MPs want the Government to set out an exit strategy for Help to Buy so that the scheme can end in 2017, as planned.

Angel Mas, president of mortgage insurance at Genworth, said: “It is clear that the government should start thinking about the exit strategy for the scheme now.

“Just turning off the high loan-to-value mortgage finance tap at the end of 2016 will risk a cliff since of the issues that led to the introduction of Help to Buy, one and two have not gone away.”

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