Barratt Developments PLC expects “very limited” new home sales due to coronavirus


The housebuilder said it sold 1,349 homes between March 23, when lockdown measures were enforced in the UK, and April 12

 PLC () rose on Thursday despite expectations of “very limited” new home sales and reservations as 85% of its staff have been furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the housebuilder said it sold 1,349 homes between March 23, when lockdown measures were enforced in the UK, and April 12. It noted that total forward sales are 12,376 homes for £2.8bn.

READ: Housebuilders Barratt and Vistry close construction sites and join dividend dump

The FTSE 100-listed firm said it closed all its sales locations on March 27, but delivered home completions after that date in line with safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

As of April 14, the company said it had £450mln in cash and £900mln in total committed facilities, including fully drawn £200mln US private placement notes.

Barratt noted that it’s senior management have taken a 20% pay cut to conserve cash.

Tough times ahead

Sophie Lund-Yates, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said housebuilders are expected to keep suffering even once the outbreak is over, as the housing market tends to remain stagnant in times of economic crisis.

“Over the longer term we think a lot of the core strengths that support the housing market will still exist when things start to go back to normal – including low interest rates,” she commented.

“But the rate of recovery for Barratt and its peers will depend how deeply the disruption cuts the economy.”

Shares jumped 7% to 452.5p on Thursday at the opening bell.

–Adds analyst’s comment, shares–



Read MoreBarratt Developments PLC expects “very limited” new home sales due to coronavirus

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