Housebuilder Berkeley shrugs off Brexit vote to hit profit targets

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Housebuilder Berkeley Group has said it expects profits at be at the top end of forecasts this year, as it signalled the housing market in London and the South East had "stabilised".

In the seven months since the Brexit referendum result, Berkeley said new home sales had fallen by 16%.

But in the last two months reservations were higher than a year earlier.

The London-focused developer also said inquiry levels remained "robust" and pricing continued to be "resilient".

It said the market had been adversely affected by a number of factors apart from Brexit uncertainty, including changes to stamp duty, the challenges of securing planning permission and the demands to provide affordable housing.

As a result, new housing starts have fallen by 30% in the capital.

However, the company said: "Berkeley is uniquely placed to maintain its high levels of production in London and the South East and we are onsite in production on 58 sites."

It added that there were a further 22 sites in the pipeline.

Shares in Berkeley rose by 5.26% to £31.19 in early trade.

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