Bellway first-half housing revenue falls 30% to £1.25bn

Newcastle-based house building giant Bellway said its housing revenue fell 30% to £1.25 billion the six months ended January 31, 2024, down from £1.8 billion for the same period of the prior year.

In a trading update, Bellway said its total housing completions fell 28.1% to 4,092 homes during the period “with the decline reflecting the generally weaker trading conditions experienced since late summer 2022 and the lower order book at 1 August 2023.”

Bellway said its overall average selling price fell by over 2% to £309,300 “primarily driven by a lower proportion of private completions, which reduced to 75% of the total (2023 – 79%).”

The company added: “We continue to expect an overall average selling price in the year ending 31 July 2024 of around £295,000 (31 July 2023 – £310,306), reflecting a further increase in the proportion of social homes in the second half of the current financial year and a continued use of targeted incentives, together with geographic and mix changes.

“Bellway’s experienced procurement teams continue to work closely with our wide range of supply chain partners, and we are encouraged that build cost inflation has moderated from the elevated levels in the last two years.”

Bellway said the reduction in mortgage interest rates throughout the first half has led to encouraging levels of customer enquiries in the traditionally quieter winter trading period.

The firm’s forward order book at January 31 comprised 3,970 homes (2023 – 5,108 homes), with a value of £1,012.5 million (2023 – £1,386.8 million).

Bellway CEO Jason Honeyman said: “Bellway has delivered another resilient performance in a period of challenging trading conditions.

“While the economic backdrop remains uncertain, the gradual reduction in mortgage interest rates through the first half has eased affordability constraints and we are encouraged by the seasonal pick-up in customer leads and an improvement in reservations since the start of the new calendar year.

“We have maintained balance sheet resilience and, supported by the strength of our land bank, Bellway remains well-placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities and will continue to play an important role in increasing housing supply in the years ahead.”