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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 08:47 GMT
Barratt upbeat on housing outlook
Barratt homes in Ipswich
More people are looking round Barratt homes
Housebuilder Barratt Developments has said it is optimistic after seeing a rise in visitor and reservation numbers since the start of the year.

Its comments came as it reported a 10.2% increase in profits to 194.6m for the half-year to 31 December.

Barratt said trading had been tough, with the squeeze on the availability and cost of mortgages hitting sales.

The firm said that as of 17 February, forward sales stood at at 1.61bn, down 7% from the same point last year.

"Visitor and reservation levels continue to improve and we remain optimistic that this will continue throught the balance of the spring selling season," said Mark Clare, Barratt's group chief executive.

On Tuesday, rival housebuilder Persimmon said it had also seen an increase in the number of visitors to its show homes in 2008, although it added that converting these visits to sales "remained challenging".

House builder 'cautious' on 2008
26 Feb 08 |  Business
Barratt upbeat despite slowdown
19 Nov 07 |  Business

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