Berkeley says it can't boost volumes beyond current plans

LONDON (Reuters) - London-focussed housebuilder Berkeley BKGH.L said it cannot further increase its volumes above current plans due to the planning constraints and government changes in recent years which have made buying a property to rent less attractive.

“Domestic buy-to-let investors, who buy early in the cycle and provide security of cash flow to enable complex, capital intensive developments to be brought forward, are further impacted by additional transaction costs and the removal of interest deductibility,” the firm said.

“These factors, together with the changing planning environment and the time and complexity of getting on site following planning approval, mean that Berkeley is currently unable to increase production beyond the business plan levels.”

The firm also said it would remain cautious in its investment strategy, only buying land - generally a housebuilder’s biggest cost - on a selective basis.

Reporting by Costas Pitas, Editing by Paul Sandle