HOUSEBUILDER Bellway has reported a record year in house completions, selling price and revenue amid strong demand “against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment and macroeconomic uncertainty”.

But the builder, which unveiled a 13 per cent increase in revenues to £3.5 billion and 10.5% growth in completions to 11,198 in the financial year to the end of July, above its target of 11,100 homes, said it expected its average selling price to drop to just over £300,000 in the year to the end of July next year, reflecting “expected changes in geographical and product mix”.

In a trading update ahead of its preliminary results announcement on October 18, the Newcastle-based company, which has extensive developments across Glasgow and the west of Scotland, Edinburgh and the east and Fife, predicted a strong 2023 despite the cost-of-living crisis as rising house prices offset spiralling energy and buildings costs.

One of Britain's biggest housebuilders, it confirmed it has contracted to acquire 19,089 plots during 2022 across 107 sites.

Bellway’s chief executive Jason Honeyman said: “Bellway has delivered another strong performance, with volume output and housing revenue reaching record levels for the group against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment and macroeconomic uncertainty.”

Mr Honeyman noted that Bellway’s “sizeable forward order book and continued strong investment in land puts the group in an excellent position to deliver another record year of volume output, notwithstanding the ongoing challenges in the planning system and upcoming end of the Help-to-Buy scheme”.

“A robust balance sheet continues to provide strategic flexibility and a platform for our long-term strategic priorities of volume growth and value creation,” he added.

The builder said it has an order book comprising 7,223 homes (7,082 in 2021) at a value of £2,114.3m.

“This underpins our previously announced ambition to deliver an annual output of around 12,200 homes for the year ending July 31, 2023, representing volume growth of around 20% over a two-year period,” it noted.

Underlying operating margin for 2022 is expected to rise to around 18.5%, up from 17% in 2020, driven by improved operating efficiency and completions from more recently acquired land.

Bellway stated: “Strong commercial disciplines, forward buying and value engineering initiatives have helped to mitigate these upward cost pressures which overall have been offset by house price inflation.”

It said it continued to maintain a “sharp focus on acquiring land in desirable locations with high demand, where the product is affordable in the context of localised market conditions”.

Shares closed at 2,300p.