Crest Nicholson plans to boost supply of new homes

Posted 19 June 2013

Residential property developer Crest Nicholson is planning to increase the number of new homes it develops, following a sharp increase in first half profits.

The company, which returned to the stock market earlier this year, saw pre-tax profits increase to £28.1m, up from £16m for the corresponding period last year, following a 9% rise in new homes completions and a 3.4% increase, on average, in selling price.

Around two-thirds of Crest Nicholson's planned new homes are located in London and the south east.

Crest chief executive Stephen Stone said: "The business is responding to improved sales rates by increasing its production levels, although there is inevitably a lead time before higher sales translate fully into increased legal completions.

"Provided lenders and planning authorities also play their part, we would expect to see volume growth coming through more fully by the end of the calendar year."

A number of housebuilders have pledged to increase new homes output, following the successful introduction of the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Persimmon Homes is just one of a host of developers to have increased house building activity as a result of greater demand from buyers, according to Group Chief Executive of Persimmon, Jeff Fairburn.

He said: "Since the introduction of the Help to Buy measures in April we've seen a notable increase in customer interest and visitors to our sites, resulting in a stronger level of sales reservations across England. In response we have increased our build activity to meet this increase in demand."

Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey, added: "If this early interest is maintained, the Help to Buy Scheme will play an important role in enabling the industry to increase the volume of new homes built over the coming months and years."

At around 115,000 new homes per annum, housebuilding levels in England are currently around half those needed to meet the formation of new households at an estimated 220,000. Just 88,000 private for sale homes were built last year.


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