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Barratt Developments says housing demand remains strong

Finding skilled staff to meet the demand remains a problem.

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Forward sales are nearly 21% higher than a year ago.

Housebuilder Barratt (LON:BDEV) said the housing market remained good with  demand strong in all areas of the country.

David Thomas, chief executive, said there remained a significant structural shortage of new homes in Britain.

Weekly orders rose to 261 (2014: 232) in 19 weeks to 8 November, with average net private reservations per active site per week of 0.70 (0.63).

Forward sales are nearly 21% higher than a year ago at a value of £2.5bn (2014:£2.07bn), equating to 11,033 plots (2014: 9,734 plots).

Finding skilled staff to meet the demand remains a problem, Barratt said, with an additional 250 graduates, trainees and apprentices taken on for 2016 after it took on 327 last year.

Build costs for FY16 to set to increase by 3-4%, in line with previous guidance.

“The outlook is positive and we are driving towards our FY17 targets of at least a 20% gross margin and at least a 25% return on capital employed," said Thomas.

Shares were flat at 574p.

Quick facts: Barratt Developments

Price: 510.8 GBX

LSE:BDEV
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £5.2 billion
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