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February 26, 2009    

Barratt’s forwards sales down 64%

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by Gill Montia
Barratt's forwards sales down 64%

Property developer Barratt Homes has followed rival Redrow in reporting a substantial loss for 2008.

The company blames falling property prices, a shortage of mortgage funding and writedowns on the value of its land bank for a pre-tax loss of £592.4 million, compared with a profit of £192.4 million in 2007.

The group’s average selling price for a home declined to £160,700 last year, down almost 10% on 2007 and 27% below the June 2007 peak of the housing market.

Forward sales for 2008 dropped 64% on a year earlier, as at 31st December.

However, The Scotsman has reported that the developer’s sales held up well in Scotland because the region’s housing associations bought unsold properties with help from the Scottish Government, although no exact figures are available.

The group has embarked on an £80 million cost reduction programme, which will result in 700 job losses in addition to the 1,900 jobs cut made in 2008.

In related news, housebuilder Redrow reported earlier this week that its sales reservations across the UK were down an annual 49% to 853.

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