Bellway homes sales up on improved consumer confidence

Bellway home
Image caption Bellway said it had taken another 1,600 reservations for completion next year

Improving consumer confidence has helped boost property sales, UK house builder Bellway has said.

The group achieved a sales rate of 111 units per week between February and May, a rise of 9% on the same period last year.

The average selling price rose 4% to £182,000, helped by more higher-value units being sold in and around London.

The Newcastle-based group said that current market conditions had left it well-positioned for growth.

"The uncertainties that affected consumer confidence during the challenging autumn trading period appear to have diminished and, encouragingly, there has been a return towards a more normal reservation pattern with a healthy spring selling season, despite ongoing concerns remaining in the wider economy," the company said.

Although its net debt had risen to £57m at the end of May, Bellway said it expected this level of gearing to reduce by the end of the year.

It added it had taken another 1,600 reservations for properties to be completed in 2011-12.

On Wednesday, the government announced plans to sell off public land to developers and housebuilders, worth an estimated £10bn, to help tackle a growing housing shortage.

The move could create up to 100,000 homes and 25,000 jobs during the next four years.

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