AJ Bell: Market could be heading for “sugar crash”

Jessica Bird

September 2, 2021

Following the release of Barratt Developments’ yearly results, Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, has suggested that the “post-lockdown frenzy” may be slowing.

While Barratt Developments’ financial results were generally positive, reporting revenue up 40.7% compared with the 2020 financial year, Mould pointed to a decline in net private reservations.

He said: “Are we seeing the first signs of a top in the housing market? Barratt has reported an 11.7% decline in net private reservations in July and most of August year-on-year.

“The comparable period in 2020 fell in the post-lockdown frenzy which saw strong activity in the property market.

“While there are still plenty of ‘sold’ signs up and down the country, it seemed inevitable that housing transactions might lose some momentum as we approach the end of the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland.”

Mould said that, due to the housing supply issues faced by the UK, the market will continue to have a strong backdrop.

However, he added: “The sector has benefited so much in recent years from government initiatives such as Help to Buy and the stamp duty holiday, that taking away any of these support measures could see housebuilders suffer an almighty sugar crash after that initial rush.”

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