Builder works on Barratt housing development in Coalville
A builder works on a Barratt housing development in Coalville, February 27, 2008.

Shares in Barratt Developments were down on the FTSE 250 in afternoon trading ahead of the housebuilder's full year results, which are due out tomorrow.

Earlier in the year Barratt reported a rise in forward sales of 27 per cent to £591.7 million and said that average selling prices had risen by around 11 per cent, thanks to a rise in the percentage of houses being sold in its mix.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, "Ahead of their results, the group has been active in the land purchase market, and made concerted efforts to reduce debt. Trends at the company suggest an improvement in margins, aided by the low interest rate environment and the government's buyer assistance scheme. Market consensus estimates presently indicate a buy".

By 16:25 shares in Barratt Developments were down 0.48 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 104.20 pence per share.