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Barratt reports strongest spring sale for five years-The Northern Echo

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Barratt reports strongest spring sale for five years, 8: 00 am on Friday 11th may 2012 in the North-East Business News Photograph of the Author by Andy Richardson

Barratt reports strongest spring sales for five yearsBarratt reports strongest spring sale for five years

HOUSEBUILDER Barratt has seen its strongest spring selling season for five years, but the housing market North-East are struggling to display characters in selvedge recovery.

Newcastle-based Barratt, like other UK housebuilders, reacted to a weak market and lack of mortgage finance by focusing its activities in areas such as London, where prices are relatively buoyant, and on more profitable houses rather than cheaper apartments.

The group said that 25 percent more potential homebuyers reserved properties in 18 weeks to May 6, compared with the same period last year. The company described total underlying property prices as stable with London and Britain more prosperous South-East contains the greatest robustness.

Barratt is working on 397 sites, which is up from 374 in the same period last year. The company expects to buy 10 thousand plots in the current fiscal year.

In its preliminary statement Barratt said: “While the economy remains uncertain and the availability of mortgage finance continues to be a constraint, we expect the benefits of the various government initiatives to continue to provide assistance to the industry.”

Barratt says there has been strong interest in the Government’s NewBuy scheme to help potential homebuyers.

About 70 customers have used the scheme to book home page launch on 12 March. Scheme NewBuy under which Government and builders guarantee mortgages, have seen lenders criticized for pricing loans also sharply.

Average sales prices increased 5% to £ 202,000 and the company expects to complete the 600 more sales this year than expected, a total of SEK 12.600 home rather than 12,000. Last year it achieved about 11,000.

Strong sales figures removes fear that demand for housing would drop out after a stamp duty holiday ended in March.

Its results came after the latest RICS UK Housing market survey showed that the North East property residential market continued to fight in April as prices edged lower.

Throughout this region, 21 percent more Chartered Surveyors reported falls rather than increases in housing prices. In parallel with this remained expectations of future prices at a low level in April with a net balance 30 percent more respondents predicting further drops.

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