December 2, 2016 / 7:25 AM / a year ago

UK housebuilder Berkeley says demand down 20 pct after tax hike, Brexit

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - London-focussed housebuilder Berkeley said the number of reservations fell 20 percent in the first half of their financial year due to an increase in property tax and the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.

Berkeley, which still posted a 34 percent increase in pre-tax profit to 392.7 million pounds ($496 million) in the six months to the end of October, said the fall in demand was caused by the June 23 referendum and an increase on a property tax.

“This fall in volume is due to higher stamp duty, the extraordinary attack on buy to let landlords - such an important part of sustaining the London market and increasing the supply of new homes - and the uncertainty caused by Brexit,” the firm said.

A buyer reserves a property when they pay to take it off the market. ($1 = 0.7915 pounds) (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Kate Holton)

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