The downgrade followed a record first half for the FTSE 250 housebuilder, who reported in a trading update on Thursday that total revenue for the period is expected to be up by more than 12% to just shy of £1.5bn from £1,324.4mln the year before.
This was accompanied by a rise in the weekly reservation rate of 2.8% to 183 from 178 in the same period a year earlier, the highest level ever achieved by the group in the first half of its fiscal year.
“For the second half, the group is operating from a higher number of outlets and with a pick-up in demand in recent weeks,” said Peel Hunt analysts, adding that its pre-tax profit forecasts for the 2019 fiscal year now looked “achievable”.
The broker also retained its target price for Bellway at 2,945p.
In late-morning trading Thursday, Bellway shares were down 2% at 2,830p.