A HOUSEBUILDER’S sales have hit a nine-year high after prolonged mortgage lender competition provided fertile land for growth.

Barratt Developments says robust demand has given its order book fresh momentum, with revenue and profit both rising.

According to annual results for the year to June 30, released yesterday, total sales stood at 17,395, representing the business’ best performance in nearly a decade.

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Revenue came in 9.8 per cent higher at £4.65bn, with pre-tax profit 12.1 per cent better off at £765.1m.

Forward sales, including joint ventures, were up 13.8 per cent as of September 3 at £2.75bn.

The business, established when tycoon Sir Lawrie Barratt built his own home in Newcastle in the 1950s, has developments across the region, including estates in Spennymoor and Consett, County Durham, and David Thomas, chief executive, said it has benefited from strong buyer interest and appealing mortgage deals.

He said: “This has been another excellent year.

“We have delivered a strong operational and financial performance and our highest completion volumes for nine years.

“The group starts the new financial year in a good position, with a strong balance sheet and healthy forward sales, and we continue to see robust demand supported by a positive mortgage environment.

“We are committed to increasing the supply of new homes as the UK’s largest housebuilder.”

Barratt includes the Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes brands, and its North- East division last month revealed continued buyer demand had helped reservations rise 11 per cent year-on-year following a period of record output.

It previously announced plans to create and support hundreds of jobs by increasing its presence across the region.

Bosses say that growth will be led by its David Wilson division, which is building the Five Acres development, in Barnard Castle, County Durham; The Drive at Mount Oswald, on the outskirts of Durham City; and The Grove, based at Wynyard Park, near Billingham.