The housebuilder said the value of its forward order book had fallen to £1.64bn from £1.70bn in June of last year, reflecting the company’s planned growth in so-called “social housing” completions this year. Social housing offers a lower margin to the housebuilder.
A barbecue on a balcony could have caused a block of flats to be engulfed by fire, according to its builders, Bellway Homes. Twenty flats with wooden balconies were destroyed and 10 more damaged in Sunday's fire in Barking, East London. https://t.co/D7IG6fDe8h #fireinvestigation— IFIC (@IFICForensics) June 11, 2019
The forward order book as at 2 June had risen by 2.7% to 6,312 homes (3 June 2018 – 6,144 homes), with 68% of these plots contracted.
The sales position giave the group confidence that Bellway is well placed its expectations with regards to earnings growth in the current financial year.
The period from the beginning of February to the start of June saw a 4.7% year-on-year increase in the reservation rate to 244 per week from 233 per week the year before.
The company said house prices generally remain firm but are not rising as rapidly as previous years, while at the same time cost increases continue to be experienced throughout the broader construction sector.
Bellway said its cost base remains well controlled and this has helped to mitigate some of the pressure on the gross margin.
“Customer confidence is resilient and despite the ongoing political uncertainty, the cancellation rate since 1 August has moderated to 12% (2018 – 11%), a reduction from the 13% reported in March at the interim results,” the company said.
In the wake of the fire in Barking, East London, the second bullet point in the company’s trading update noted that the company had retained its status as a five-star home builder.
When we in the Barking Reach Residents' Association asked Bellway to come to the estate just one month ago, after BBC Watchdog exposed failings in its construction, Bellway refused... https://t.co/RmgOvbYE3G @HAWRNet #barkingfire #BarkingRiverside #firesafety— Paul Kershaw (@1917paul) June 10, 2019
The shares were down 0.3% at 2,818p in a rising market.