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Business & Economy

Housebuilder Bellway buoyed by post-lockdown demand

A North East-headquartered housebuilder says “substantial” demand will help revive its fortunes after COVID-19 hit annual sales.

Bellway says it is proceeding “cautiously along the road to recovery” as buyer interest grows following the end of the lockdown period.

Bosses revealed their confidence in a trading update today (Tuesday, August 11), which revealed the Seaton Burn-based firm’s order book stands at £1.76 billion and comprises more than 6500 homes.

The figure – covering the 12-month period to July 31 – stands well ahead of the £1.2 billion and 4878 homes Bellway recorded in the previous year.

Speaking about its order increase, chief executive Jason Honeyman said the numbers give the company a “solid platform for the year ahead”, given the lockdown period and associated temporary site closures that pushed sales 31 per cent lower on a year ago to 7522.

He also highlighted a continued rise in customer interest, with private reservations rising to 140 per week throughout July – the figure stood at 162 per week in the corresponding month a year ago – as demand is supported by the Government’s Help-to-Buy scheme.

“The collective response from those who work for and with Bellway, both on and off-site, has been tremendous and this has enabled us to respond positively and responsibly during these challenging times,” said Jason.

“Our attention now turns to the trading year ahead.

“While the economic outlook is uncertain, sales demand is encouraging, and the group has built a strong forward sales position.

“With our resilient balance sheet, we will proceed cautiously along the road to recovery, determined to return the group to its strategy of delivering long-term and sustainable growth.”

Bellway has developments across the UK, with its North East estates including Moorfields, in Killingworth; Arcot Manor, in Cramlington; and Byron Heights, on the outskirts of Seaham, County Durham.