Finance

Housebuilder Berkeley boosted by lockdown easing in London


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ondon builder Berkeley has seen prices of homes sold “above business plan levels”, with reservations for properties in line with what was achieved before the pandemic.

In annual results announced in June, Berkeley highlighted that transaction levels in London had “inevitably been impacted by the restrictions on travel and Berkeley’s selective approach to market; deferring certain sales launches until restrictions are lifted”.

But the firm, led by Rob Perrins, today said: “The gradual easing of lock-down restrictions has been accompanied by a gradual firming of the London market as anticipated. Outside London, the market has remained robust.”

It added that underlying reservations at this stage in the financial year are in line with those achieved in the two years prior to the pandemic.

Pre-tax profit for the year to April 2022 is on track to match or exceed the £518 million recorded in the prior 12 months.

The shares edged up 25p, or 0.5%, to 4792p.

Berkeley warned: “We have continued to experience inflationary pressure in build costs during this period, principally through materials, and we are mindful of ongoing issues in the supply chain and labour market resulting from Brexit and the pandemic.”

It said sales pricing has remained above business plan levels, which is offsetting building materials cost inflation.

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