Leading UK developer Barratt Developments is the latest major housebuilder to report an upturn in business following an improvement in market conditions.

In a trading update, the company says that during the first three months of this year private reservations increased by 18 per cent compared with the same period in 2012.

It says the increase is due to the Government’s Help to Buy initiative which was launched in April and had made a ‘strong start’.

Barratt’s private average selling price has increased by four per cent and prices overall have remained stable. Private forward sales are up by 28.5 per cent to £1 billion compared with £789 million in the same period last year.

The company described current market conditions as “the most positive we have seen for five years”.

Higher consumer demand and improving mortgage supply contributed to the greater activity and strong performance between January and the beginning of…

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