Building bigger and better for 2011

Builders go upmarket

Published:  30 December, 2010

LONDON: Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, Britain's biggest housebuilder, said that with building volumes at historic lows and demand constrained by mortgage availability the focus next year is on properties in prime locations.

The company's new houses are bigger, more expensive, and located in areas where potential buyers do not require high loan-to-value mortgages. "We focus on what we can control," Mr Clare said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The company has not ruled out growth in housebuilding volumes but there is no clarity at the moment on whether government action will lead to more homes being built, he said.

"I don't think we can control the mortgage market – although there are things we can do around the edges – so really it is about saying that those in the market to buy a home are those with equity, and they will be looking for a larger family home," he added.

Barratt has acquired £747m of land since mid-2009 to build its collection of prime sites. In London this includes a former court in Marylebone that will be transformed into one of the most expensive developments by the company, and a site in Putney where exclusive apartments are being built.

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