By Daniel Hunter

Tentative signs of recovery in the UK housing market are beginning to spread, according to housebuilder Barratt Developments.

"We are seeing the housing market recovery starting to spread beyond London and the South East," chief executive Mark Clare said.

The group reported pre-tax profits for the year to the end of June of £104.8m, up from £100m the previous year.

Its average selling price rose to £194,800 up 7.9% from the previous year's figure of £180,500.

Barratt expects to complete about 45,000 new homes over the next three years.

It also reported it had cut its debt to £25.9m from £167.7m at the end of June 2012.

Barratt's chairman Bob Lawson said there had been an improvement in the mortgage market.

"Significant progress has been made on the availability of finance for customers and the mortgage providers' capacity to lend has slowly improved," he said.

"This has been accelerated by a series of Government mortgage initiatives - FirstBuy, NewBuy and Help to Buy."

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