Private forward sales at housebuilder Barratt Developments have climbed past £1bn as market conditions continue to pick up.

The strong start to the second half of the group’s financial year has continued with trading going well in the 18 weeks from 1 January to 5 May 2013, Barratt said in an update to the Stock Exchange.

Since the announcement of the government’s Help to Buy scheme in the recent Budget, Barratt, which has operations in Newcastle, has experienced a step up in levels of consumer interest and a strengthening of sales rates.

The shared equity loan scheme, launched on 1 April 2013, has led to about 400 reservations to date for the group. The improvement in the sales rates reflected the strengthening of market conditions, Barratt added.

Chief executive Mark Clare said: “Our improved performance is being underpinned by stronger market conditions and the operational changes we have made to every aspect of our business.”

Source: Insider News 10th May 2013