Are dividends from SSE plc (6%), Barratt Developments plc (7.3%) and Direct Line Insurance Group plc (7.3%) now simply unmissable?

At 6,350 points, the FTSE 100 is higher than it was on the eve of the fateful EU referendum, yet that simple fact hides a significant change — there’s been a big move from banking, insurance and housebuilding shares to ones that are considered ‘safer’, and that has exposed some tasty dividends on both sides of the shift.

Cash cow still delivering

Shares in SSE (LSE: SSE) dipped quite sharply in the wake of the Brexit result, though they’ve pulled back most of the loss to reach 1,505p as I write. The drop seemed bizarre, as SSE only does a tiny fraction of its business in Ireland and mainland Europe — about 3% of turnover in the last full year. The firm promptly issued a statement saying the exit “presents no immediate risk” to its operations, though it did raise the risk of uncertainty over the regulatory framework within which it works.

SSE looks a safe Brexit bet to me, and at the shares’ post-vote low point you could have tied in a forecast dividend yield of 6.6%! As it stands, there’s still a 6% yield on the cards, with 6.1% pencilled in for 2017, as EPS looks set to remain pretty much level.

SSE’s current share price is only around 13 times forecast earnings for this year, and for a company with such high and transparent dividend payouts, that looks cheap to me.

Cheap housing

The crash in housebuilders looks overdone, in my opinion, and at 395p apiece I see Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) shares as too cheap. They have bounced back a little since the vote, but we’re still look at a 32% fall since close of play on referendum day. That’s dropped the shares to a price-to-earnings multiple of just 7.2, which is only around half the long-term FTSE 100 average.

What’s more, Barratt’s forecast dividend yield now stands at 7.3%, rising as high as 8.8% on 2017 forecasts. Sure, the UK’s GDP growth is likely to at least slow, and we could even fall back into recession. And yes, house prices could well fall back a little, as demand seems likely to cool. But falling land prices also provide an opportunity for housebuilders to top up their land banks at a lower cost.

I really do see the kind of emotional over-reaction that we usually get in times of crisis here, and Barratt Developments is looking like a good contrarian opportunity to me right now.

Battered insurance

The insurance sector has also received a pummelling, but why should an insurer that does its business 100% in the UK be damaged by the vote result? That’s what’s happened to Direct Line Insurance Group (LSE: DLG), whose shares have shed 8.3% since the big event to reach 343p.

Are we, as a nation, suddenly going to stop insuring our cars, our homes, and all the other things we hold dear simply because we’re not going to be in the European Union for much longer? Of course not. No, the cash is still going to keep pouring into Direct Line’s coffers for it to hand out to its shareholders in the form of dividends, and the forecast yield for this year now stands at 7.3%!

That’s from shares on a forward P/E of only 12, which looks like a screaming buy to me.

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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.