Barratt tempts buyers as profits slide

| September 11, 2008
Barratt tempts buyers as profits slide

Housebuilder Barratt Developments has announced a range of sales incentives.

The company’s pre-tax profit fell by 68% in the six months to the end of June as unsold stock languished on its books.

In an effort to tackle the lack of confidence in the property market that is keeping its showroom carpets pristine, the builder is offering to pay stamp duty on houses worth up to £500,000.

It will also protect buyers from house price falls of up to 15% during the next three years and provide mortgage subsidies.

New purchasers will have the opportunity to pay only 85% of the price of their property immediately, with the rest being paid over a ten-year period.

The firm also has offers on moving costs and a part-exchange scheme for those who would rather not test out the market with a sale.

In its trading update, Barratt revealed that selling prices are 5% down year-on-year and the company’s chief executive, Mark Clare, reported that pricing continues to be under pressure.

On a like-for-like basis, Barratt’s sales slid 14% during the 12 months prior to July, with net private sales continuing to fall in the past four weeks.

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