Value of sales reservations drop 35%, developer says

Berkeley has not bought any land in the past four months due to uncertainty around regulations and the economy, it has said.

The £2.6bn-turnover London-focused housebuilder, in a short trading update this morning, said it has not bought any land since 1 May this year.

It said: “The complexity and protracted nature of the current planning system and lack of clarity surrounding certain regulatory changes affecting our sector, at a time of considerable uncertainty for the UK economy with persistent high inflation and interest rates, continues to deter investment into brownfield regeneration and the wider housebuilding sector.

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“Consequently, Berkeley has not acquired any land in the period and will only invest very selectively in new opportunities.”

Berkeley said buyer enquiries have stayed at similar levels over the last four months but the value of underlying private sales reservations has fallen 35% year-on-year.

However Berkeley is still confident it can deliver £1.05bn of pre-tax profit over the next two financial years as indicated in its annual results earlier this year.

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The housebuilder in March called for a separate planning category to boost brownfield development, which it said its needed as a result of changes to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and the National Planning Policy Framework.