Berkeley thriving but says price rises are slowing down

Tony Pidgley said the market has 'reverted to normal transaction levels from the high point in 2013'

Tony Pidgley held back from calling the top of the market on house prices today but warned the market is returning to “normal” after peaking last year.

The outspoken chairman of housebuilding firm Berkeley, speaking at the group’s annual general meeting, said the market has “reverted to normal transaction levels from the high point in 2013, providing a stable operating environment”.

Estate agent Foxtons and recent house price surveys revealed price rises have begun to slow down after record growth.

Pidgley said demand for the “right product with good design in the best locations” has remained resilient and it has sold 15,750 new homes in London and the south-east since April.

Cash due on forward sales is  £2.2 billion and it has a pipeline of more than 11,000 development sites. Berkeley has been working up planning consents to start work on a number of new schemes including at London Dock in Wapping and a site in Chiswick.

It continues with its plan to raise dividends to eventually pay 434p a share by September next year and will pay a 90p-a-share slice later this month. Berkeley said it is on track to meet earnings expectations this year.

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