Commercial Property News

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Thursday, April 06, 2024

Bellway Homes to increase activity in Scotland

Newcastle-based Bellway Homes is planning a big increase in activity in Scotland after buoyant trading north of the border provided a bright spot in a challenging first half.

Bellway said it wanted to acquire sites across the country after growing sales in Scotland by 54%, to 290 homes, in the six months ended January 31, when volumes in other parts of the UK were flat.

Like other housebuilders Bellway has found that demand has remained strong in Scotland, where the employment market is in good shape and consumers do not have as much debt as those in many other parts of the UK.

Bellway, which builds around two-thirds of its homes on 'brownfield' or former industrial sites, said it sold 2958 homes in the six months to end-January, broadly in line with the number compared with a year ago.

The average selling price of houses across the UK fell by 1,000 to 166,600. In the east of Scotland unit Bellway managed to increase selling prices from 180,500 to 182,500 but prices dropped from 180,400 to 150,800 in west Scotland. The company attributed the fall to an increased share of flats in the total figures.

The difficult trading conditions were reflected in a fall in interim pre-tax profit to 87.8m, from 89.7m a year earlier, although revenues rose 3% to 507.5m. Bellway said its order book for 2006 was around 715m with more than 90% of the company's year target secured.