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Barratt shares down despite strong show.

HOUSEBUILDER Barratt Developments has chalked up a "strong" half-year performance, driven by a rise in forward sales and completed homes.

Total forward sales picked up by 2% to PS2.4bn for the six months ending in December, as it cheered Government policies such as Help to Buy and the buoyant mortgage market. The number of completions also ticked higher, lifting 2% to 7,324 over the period, with the average selling price climbing 6.5% to PS281,000.

Britain's biggest housebuilder said the sales rate remained at 0.68 compared to the year before, while average reservations per week dropped to 246 from 247 in 2016.

While the firm is on track to secure "modest growth" in whollyowned completions for 2018, shares were down 3% on the London Stock Exchange following a broker downgrade from Peel Hunt.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 12, 2018
Words:137
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