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Builder Barratt shrugs off supply chain issues

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Builder Barratt Developments has not measured any significant impact on its construction plans due to much-publicised problems in UK supply chains.

The company said on Wednesday that it is still on track to complete between 17,000 and 17,250 homes in the current financial year, which ends next June.

Barratt said that it has noticed “some macroeconomic uncertainty”, but its financial position is strong enough to react to changes this year.

“We continue to work closely with our suppliers and sub-contractors and have not experienced any significant disruption to our build programme as a result of the challenging supply chain environment,” said chief executive David Thomas.

The company added that its building sites are continuing to operate across the country, with construction in line with plans.

But the cost of building will increase by between 4% and 5% during the current financial year, Barratt predicted.

Reservations per site dropped by 2.3% in the last three months compared with the same period a year ago.

But Barratt stressed that a year ago buyers could benefit from a stamp duty holiday and Help to Buy.

The more relevant comparison is the same period in 2019, Barratt said, and when compared to that time, reservations are now 18% higher.

Stamp duty holidays were completely removed last month, while Help to Buy was tapered in December last year to exclude existing homebuyers and include regional price caps.

The impact has been clear. In the last three months 21% of buyers were using Help to Buy, down from 45% two years ago and 51% last year.

“The positive start to the new financial year has continued in recent weeks with private reservations remaining strong,” Mr Thomas said.

“This is particularly encouraging given the significant year-on-year reduction in Help to Buy reservations and the ending of the stamp duty holiday.

He added: “We remain on track to deliver both our (2022 financial year) and medium-term targets set out in the (2021 financial year) results, whilst maintaining our commitment to leading the industry in the quality and sustainability of our homes and in customer service, which we believe is fundamental to our ongoing success.”

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