Bellway seeing little sign of the property market cooling down

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​​HOUSEBUILDER Bellway has reported a record year for sales amid few signs that the property market has slowed in the face of new mortgage rules.

The company said it sold 6,851 homes in the year to July 31, a rise of 21​ per cent​ while average selling prices ​rose 10 per cent​ to £213,000.

The group said it had seen little effect of recent interventions to calm the housing market as it posted record housing revenues up 33​ per cent​ to £1.5​bn.

It added that its forward order book jumped 36​ per cent​ to £924.3​m, while spending on new plots lifted by more than half to £460​m, both of which were also records for the firm.

Bellway said its divisions in all parts of the country performed well​.

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) introduced strict affordability tests on borrowers in April in order to avoid a housing bubble.

This was followed by Bank of England measures in June which ruled that lenders must ensure no more than 15​ per cent​ of new mortgages are given to people borrowing more than four and a half times their income.

Lenders will also have to stress test borrowers’ ability to repay loans if their mortgage rate were ​three per cent​ higher than the rate at the time the loan was approved.

Bellway welcomed these moves as a way to “ensure a long-term sustainable supply of mortgage finance”.