Bellway says housing demand remained strong ahead of election

House builder Bellway said demand for new homes remained “unabated by any uncertainty” in the run-up to the election – but said the hung Parliament would mean a “degree of instability”.

The trading update comes a day after fellow house builder Crest Nicholson warned that the election result could spell short term uncertainty in the housing market.

Bellway reported a 13% rise in the rate of reservations for new homes in the period from 1 February to 4 June, to 221 per week.

Shares rose 6% while rival firms such as Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey also saw a boost.

Surveyors had reported last week that jitters in the run-up to the election had added to a lull in the housing market.

House builders then saw their share prices take a hit on Friday as Theresa May failed to secure an overall majority in the poll.

But Newcastle-upon-Tyne based Bellway said the market remained positive, supported by low unemployment, good availability of home loans, and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

“Customer demand for new homes remains strong across all regions and increase throughout spring, in accordance with the usual seasonal trend, unabated by any uncertainty in the weeks preceding the recent general election,” it said.

The company added: “Whilst the outcome of the general election has provided a degree of instability with regards to future Government policy, all political parties recognise the need for increased housing output.”

It said there was also “wider uncertainty” as the UK prepares to begin Brexit talks but was well-placed to continue its growth strategy.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said it was one of a string of positive updates from the housing sector despite recent surveys suggesting a slowdown in the market.

He said: “Results like these add weight to the argument that, barring a sudden rise in interest rates, demand for new homes will remain buoyant.”


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