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November 17, 2010    

Barratt hit as buyer demand continues to weaken

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by Kay Murchie
Barratt hit as buyer demand continues to weaken

Barratt Developments is the latest housebuilder to report a slowdown in the housing market as buyer demand continues to fall.

The group’s chief executive, Mark Clare, said the traditional autumn period has been “weaker than anticipated”.

Government spending cuts, and the uncertainty surrounding the economy, have also had a major impact as buyers adopt a “wait and see” approach.

Barratt, which is Britain’s fourth-largest housebuilder by market value, echoed the comments of other developers and said the ongoing lack of mortgage availability will continue to hold back a recovery.

These factors are expected to weigh heavily on the market and drag house prices down over the next 12 months.

In the meantime, Mr Clare added that the company will slow down its land buying, as growing competition from rivals meant there were fewer prime plots available.

Shares in Barratt have lost almost a quarter of their value in the last three months but were up 0.75p to 74¼p in early London trading today.

This week, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon both said they had experienced a homebuyer slowdown.

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