Buyers seek to complete deals before end of Covid stamp duty holiday

Barratt Developments, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, has upped its forecast of the number of houses it expects to sell this year, buoyed by a surge in post-lockdown demand as buyers seek to complete before the end of the government’s stamp duty holiday and the tightening of the help-to-buy scheme.

Barratt has started the year with fewer available homes to sell after a barnstorming period last summer and autumn following the first national lockdown, when sales boomed by 24% over four months. The company said that the rate of sales had since “normalised” but that completions were still up 9.2% year on year at 9,077 in the six months to December.

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