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Barratt says housing sector is improving - and wants to build 45,000 new homes
THE UK's biggest housebuilder says homebuyers are queuing up to reserve its properties as increased confidence galvanises the market.
Barratt Developments, founded by North-East property tycoon, Sir Lawrie Barratt, says a number of people lined the streets to get the first homes on its new 295-house development in Nunthorpe, near Middlesbrough.
Bosses expect to build about 45,000 new houses across the UK in the next three years, and say the market is now improving as quickly as London and the South-East.
The firm says its £2.6bn decision to target cheap land during the recession, coupled with the Government's Help to Buy scheme, allowing people to buy a property with a five per cent deposit, has increased revenues and profits.
Its annual results show pre-tax profits increased to £104.8m from £100m for the year to June 30, with the average selling price rising from £180,500 to £194,800, and debts cut from £167.7m to £25.9m.
The results come with the housing market at its strongest for five years.
A spokesman said: “These are strong and really significant results, and one of the things we have seen is the confidence in the market spreading from London and the South-East.
“Our Grey Towers Farm development in Nunthorpe has attracted great interest and we have queues on the site with people looking to get the first properties.”
The results come after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the North-East's housing sector had improved with a 20 per cent rise in the number of would-be buyers looking to enter the market, and the region as one of the highest risers across the UK for new homes coming on the market.
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