Soaring interest rates and end of help-to-buy scheme blamed for driving away first-time buyers

Britain’s largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, suffered a 56% drop in annual profits after a significant slump in demand, as the surge in interest rates and the end of the help-to-buy scheme drove away first-time buyers.

Demand from would-be homeowners fell by 49% in the year to June, which dragged on overall sales and accounted for half of the total decline in its home reservations.

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