Housebuilder Bellway has said Brexit uncertainty has “inevitably” taken its toll on consumer confidence, but it still expects to see half-year revenues rise by more than 12%.
The Newcastle-based group said the impact on consumer sentiment was behind a rise in its buyer cancellation rate, at 13% in the six months to January 31, up from 11% a year earlier.
The group has also continued to resort to the use of incentives, particularly on higher value plots, to offset dampened buyer confidence.
But Bellway said it is expecting total revenues to grow by more than 12% to almost £1.5 billion for the half-year.
The board remains cautious given the uncertainty regarding the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU and the extent to which this will affect wider customer confidence.Bellway
This was driven by a 5.6% increase in the number of housing completions, which rose to 5,007.
Bellway said that while the rate of house price growth has moderated, it is still “firm”.
It reported a 6.5% rise in its average selling price to £293,800 over the period.
The firm said its private sales rate remained flat at 136 reservations a week.
“This is a robust performance given the ongoing discussions around our forthcoming exit from the EU, which has inevitably had some bearing on customer confidence in the wider economy,” said Bellway.
It confirmed it expects full-year sales by volume to rise above last year’s record 10,307 homes and said early signs suggest customer demand will follow the normal seasonal trend in 2019.
“However, the board remains cautious given the uncertainty regarding the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU and the extent to which this will affect wider customer confidence,” added the group.