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Barratt Developments has no plans for fund-raising exercise

In a move which surprised many investors, Barratt Developments, the UK housebuilder, has today revealed very difficult trading conditions in the UK property sector and debts of £1.4 billion. While a number of rivals have taken advantage of the recent about turn in confidence to raise significant funds to pay down their debts, Barratt Developments apparently has no plan to take such action.

Many analysts had already been pencilling in a fund-raising exercise to pay down the significant debt pile and as a consequence of the company's decision not to consider this route at this moment in time, the shares were marked down. Yet again we have also seen a rather downbeat summary of the UK property market with Barratt Developments highlighting the fact that finance for house buyers is the key to an eventual recovery in the sector.

There was a suggestion that "early signs of stability" are appearing but the fact that companies such as Barratt Developments have very little stock in hand, and are effectively selling houses to order, does not bode well for the immediate future. Whether this downbeat forecast from Barratt Developments will be replicated across the sector remains to be seen but recent optimism has taken a significant hit.

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