Pockets of demand in region provide boost for builders

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Development projects in Yorkshire have boosted sales and profits at two national building firms.

Housebuilder Bellway, the UK’s fourth biggest housebuilder, said completions rose five per cent to 2,455 in the six months to January 31, driven by a 15 per cent rise in private sales.

And an increase in its order book means the group has now completed or reserved 83 per cent of its target for the full-year.

The higher proportion of private sales helped the average selling price rise 8.7 per cent to about £183,000 with further increases expected in its second half.

Bellway is currently targeting resilient pockets of demand in the north, with encouraging performances at sites in Leeds and Doncaster. It is trading from more sites than last year and yesterday said it had spent £105m on land in the period.

Last month, it was announced it had bought the first phase of the 63-acre Radial Park site at Cross Gates, in Leeds, from Threadneedle Property Investments to build up to 151 homes.

Meanwhile, developer St Modwen reported an increase in profits of 34 per cent for 2011. The developer recorded pre-tax profits of £50.4m compared to £37.5m in 2010.

The firm said it has a secure development programme for 2012 with commercial developments already on site likely to deliver in excess of £15m profit in 2012.

Regional director Stephen Prosser said: “Across Yorkshire and the North East we continue to find development opportunities to generate value, for example we recently started construction of the new 140,000 sq ft Siemens facility at Teal Park in Lincoln.

“We have also just obtained planning permission from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council for the £5m development of the former Tyco Electronics factory on Wheatley Hall Road, Doncaster.”