Countryside reveals sharp increase in completions

Countryside Properties has revealed a 28% leap in home completions for the year to 30 September in a trading update ahead of its full year results.

Completions rose to 3,389 homes, compared to 2,657 homes in the previous 12 months, and its net reservation rate increased to 0.84, compared to 0.78 last year.

The group’s private average selling price (ASP) reduced by 8% to £430,000, although underlying sales price growth was 5%. Meanwhile, its private forward order book was up 8% to £242.4m.

Ian Sutcliffe, chief executive at Countryside, said: “We continue to see industry leading growth from our mixed tenure delivery and excellent returns from our innovative partnerships business model. We have successfully positioned our business to meet the strongest areas of customer demand and are greatly encouraged by the continued and increased political support for mixed tenure housing. We see further opportunities for both our partnerships and housebuilding divisions and remain entirely confident in delivering our medium-term growth plans.”

The group’s partnerships division saw completions up 17% at 2,192 homes versus 1,874 homes in 2016. The ASP in its partnerships division increased by 12% to £343,000, driven by strong price growth in outer London and regional cities.

The group’s housebuilding division saw completions up 53% at 1,197 homes, including 837 private homes, up 68% on the prior year. The groups claimed this performance demonstrated a step change in the scale of the business. Private ASP in housebuilding reduced by 23% to £515,000 in the period, in line with Countryside’s plans to reduce its exposure to higher end product but also as a result of slower sales rates at the higher end. 

At the end of its financial year the group had 18,985 partnerships plots, representing around nine years’ supply at current volumes.

In line with its strategy, the group maintained the land bank in its housebuilding division and acquired 2,896 plots on 16 sites during the period. The housebuilding land bank now stands at 19,826 plots.

The company will report its full year results on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

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