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First-time buyers a boom for Countryside Properties

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Wednesday 21 Nov 2018

First-time buyers a boom for Countryside Properties

(Sharecast News) - Homebuilder Countryside Properties on Wednesday said full year pre-tax rose by 21.8% to £180.7m as first-time buyers drove increased demand.
Revenues increased 20% to £1.02bn as basic earnings per share were up 22% to 33.1p a share. The final dividend of was lifted to 6.6p a share against 5p last year, taking the total dividend for 2018 to 10.8p a share from 8.4p.

Operating profits came in at £149m compared with £129m in the previous year, while adjusted operating profits rose by 28% to £211m.

Total competitions increased 27% to 4,295. The average selling price fell 7% to £0.4m.

Countryside said some stresses in the UK housing market started to emerge during the year.

Sales in the second-hand market were slowing, "particularly at higher price points" as a result of the impact of increased stamp duty together with the uncertain macro-economic backdrop, the company said.

Overall demand for housing of all tenures "remains strong across all our areas of operation" as mortgage availability and extension of the controversial government 'Help to Buy' scheme until 2023 had ensured that demand from first time buyers remained "robust".

"With our forward order book up 40% to £900m, we remain well positioned to deliver current year expectations," the company said.

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