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Barratt bookings rise as UK housebuying stays strong

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FILE PHOTO: A company logo is seen on the side of a house at a Barratt Homes housing development near Preston
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(Reuters) -Barratt Developments said on Wednesday forward sales for the past three months had risen above pre-pandemic levels, driven by sustained housebuying, prompting the company to stick to its home-completion forecasts for the current year.

Britain's biggest housebuilder said it had not experienced any significant disruption to constructions, even as the country struggles with supply chain and labour issues stemming from Brexit and the pandemic.

Shares of Barratt rose about 2.2% to 656 pence in early trading.

"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," Chief Executive Officer David Thomas said.

Jefferies analysts called the update "reassuring" as Barratt said total forward sales as at Oct. 10, 2021, totalled 15,393 homes. That came above 15,135 as at Oct. 11, 2020, and 12,963 homes as at Oct. 13, 2019.

Britain's housing market turned red hot after the COVID-19 pandemic last year, aided by strong demand for larger homes amid a shift to remote working and a temporary tax break for buyers.

Home prices rose by the most in almost 15 years in September, mortgage lender Halifax said https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-house-prices-jump-by-17-september-halifax-2021-10-07 last week.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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