Re­port hurts U.K. home­builders’ shares

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

LON­DON — Shares of Bri­tain’s big­gest home­builders fell in Lon­don trad­ing af­ter the web­site Prop­erty Week re­ported that a gov­ern­ment home-loan pro­gram is at risk of can­cel­la­tion.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment said by email that it’s in­cor­rect to in­fer from a re­view of Help to Buy that the gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing early can­cel­la­tion for the pro­gram that pro­vides five-year in­ter­est-free home loans. The depart­ment is con­sid­er­ing all op­tions for the Help to Buy pro­gram when it runs out in 2021, as it said in a pol­icy doc­u­ment in Fe­bru­ary, but it didn’t tell Prop­erty Week that the pro­gram could be wound down or re­placed be­fore then, he said.

The Fi­nan­cial Times Stock Ex­change 350 House­hold Goods & Home Con­struc­tion In­dex fell as much as 2 per­cent af­ter Prop­erty Week re­ported that a gov­ern­ment re­view could lead to Help to Buy end­ing be­fore the ex­pi­ra­tion date. Pur­chases through Help to Buy ac­count for 38 per­cent of all new pri­vate home sales, and its clo­sure could re­duce home­builder profits by about 10 per­cent, Liberum Cap­i­tal Ltd. an­a­lysts in­clud­ing Char­lie Camp­bell wrote in a note to clients Fri­day.

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