Unsurprisingly, Mark Clare is a big fan of Help to Buy. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday he said: “The ability to buy homes with a 5% deposit is creating confidence in the housing market after years of uncertainty going back to the financial crisis in 2008. We are seeing queues outside our showhomes”
Clare 56, believes the market was already picking up, even before Help to Buy with demand being boosted by signs of a general economic recovery. Barratt recorded a record 73.7% rise in underlying pre tax profit to £192.3 million in the year to the end June 2013. The average price for a Barratt (privately-sold) home also increased to £213,900. In their Interim Statement last week, Barratt confirmed sales are up by 47%.
Mark Clare, a graduate from Portsmouth Polytechnic, has a background in accountancy. After 12 years at British Gas he joined Barratt as CEO in October 2006. In April 2007 he oversaw the £2.7bn acquisition of Wilson Bowden, which included the David Wilson Homes brand – just a year ahead of the global financial meltdown and the total collapse of the housing market created by the ‘credit crunch’. The company’s share price collapsed from 954p in August 2007 to just 39.5 in less than a year. A Rights Issue was required to raise additional funds from shareholders to keep the company afloat. Not a great start in a new job was it?