Housebuilder Countryside Properties brushed off any fears about the health of the UK’s property market by reporting a 34% jump in operating profits to £123m.
Whilst concerns about a slowdown in the country’s housing market have seemingly been increasing, last week Countryside gave a tremendous boost to the market’s confidence. The developer who focuses on housing in the south east, Midlands and north west said “demand for all tenures of housing, particularly in London and the south east, continues to be strong and resilient”. It added that reservations were “robust”.
Analysts have noticed a fairly big difference between the new-build and second-hand market, which indicates that the country’s housebuilders are still experiencing a robust demand.
“The new-build market is in rude health, but second hand has been slow,” said Gavin Jago, analyst at Peel Hunt. “Housebuilders are willing sellers but the second-hand market is different — if you get a slowdown in activity, it can be a vicious circle.”
Additionally, he explained that the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, supporting people when buying new-build homes of a value of up to £600,000, was helping as well.
Countryside aren’t the only ones to report an increase. Over the last couple of months, UK groups Persimmon and Bellway have shared reports of strong trading with sales rates increased compared to one year prior.
Countryside’s chief executive, Ian Sutcliffe, also put the company’s success down to its partnerships. The developer works together with local authorities and housing associations to redevelop public sector land into a mix of privately owned homes, affordable housing and rented properties.
Government sentiment seems to be moving away from ownership and towards broader housing delivery and mixed tenure.”
Whilst all housebuilders have experienced a moment of shock during and straight after the referendum, they’ve also experienced a strong rebound since.