British homebuilder Berkeley Group has today reported a slump in first-half pretax profit, as it sold fewer homes at lower prices in a Brexit hit real-estate market.
With less than a week to go before an election that is expected to break the impasse over Britain's exit from the European Union, builders are weary and buyers are holding off on spending.
However, a survey from mortgage lender Nationwide showed last week that home prices rose more than expected in November, suggesting this month's election was not putting further pressure on the UK market which remains sluggish.
Berkeley sources three quarters of its revenue from London.
In September, it had set a pretax profit target of £3.3 billion over the six years to April 2025, with profit expected to be between £500-700m in any one year.
The company, which operates primarily in London, Birmingham and the South of England, said pretax profit fell 31% to £276.7m for the six months ended October 31.
The FTSE-100 company said the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming general election and delay to Brexit was damaging the UK economy.
The company said it delivered 1,389 homes during the period, down from 2,027 last year, while the average selling price decreased 13% to £644,000.