Shares in Bellway were up on the FTSE 250 in afternoon trading after the housebuilder issued a trading statement on the six months ended 31 January 2011.

The group said it had completed the sale of 2,332 homes in the period, an increase of 85 units from the same period in the previous year. The average selling price rose from £155,871 to £168,000.

During the half year period Bellway said it had spent £130 million on new land, up from £76 million in the previous year. The strong rise in spending meant that the group swung into a net debt of seven million pounds.

Bellway said that it currently had an order book worth £402 million, up from £390 million a year ago and representing 2,343 homes, of which over three quarters are due to be completed by the end of July.

In a statement Bellway said, "In October, our main concern was the effect the Spending Review would have on consumer confidence and, as already indicated in our last Interim Management Statement, reservations to the end of November exceeded the Board's expectations. Whilst site visitors and reservations were obviously hampered by the cold weather in December, the number of visitors and subsequent reservations since the beginning of January has been encouraging however, four weeks is too short a time to consider revising our forecast for the full year."

By 14:10 shares in Bellway were up 2.50 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 655.50 pence per share.