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Berkeley Buys Southeast-England Sites to Gain From Short Supply

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March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest homebuilder by market value, acquired three sites in southeast England since November to gain from a shortage of supply.

The purchase of sites in the London neighborhoods of Finchley and Mill Hill and in the town of Maidenhead will help Berkeley achieve a target of increasing its land by 10 percent in fiscal 2013, the company said in a statement today.

“The market for new homes in London and the Southeast is still characterized by a shortage of supply at all price levels, albeit that this market is affected by the drag on demand caused by restrictions of mortgage availability and increased regulation,” Berkeley said in the statement.

The housing market in Southeast England escaped the worst effects of the housing market collapse during the global recession in 2008. The biggest U.K. homebuilders are competing to acquire land in the region, where mortgage lending is less constrained and they can sell homes at higher prices.

Berkeley said it was on course to return 568 million pounds ($857 million) to shareholders by Sept. 30, 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Gower in London at pgower@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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