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Barratt Advance Sales Rise 47% as Help to Buy Plan Sparks Demand

Barratt Developments Plc, the second-biggest U.K. homebuilder by market value, said advance sales climbed 47 percent after lending improved and the government’s Help to Buy plan increased demand for homes.

Private forward sales, or homes paid for though not yet built, rose to 1.13 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) as of Nov. 10 from 768.5 million pounds a year earlier, the Leicestershire, England-based company said in a statement today. More than 2,800 reservations were made through Help to Buy, which allows people to purchase homes costing as much as 600,000 pounds with a down payment of as little as 5 percent.

“The market remains strong, driven by better lending conditions and improving customer confidence, Chief Executive Officer Mark Clare said in the statement. ‘‘We are increasing production and investment for the future.’’

Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to stimulate the U.K. economy by boosting home construction. Help to Buy has contributed to the most buoyant housing market since the financial crisis, even as two thirds of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg described it as ‘‘bad policy.’’

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