Housebuilder builds nearly twice as many affordable homes in first six months of the year

Countryside Properties

A rise in the number of affordable and private rented sector homes completed in the first six months of the year helped Countryside Properties boost turnover by 20%.

The housebuilder said last year’s acquisition of Westleigh and the framework agreement signed with Sigma Capital had helped ramp up total completions rose 43% to 2,362 homes – 8% excluding the impact of last year’s Westleigh acquisition.

“The main drivers of growth in the first half were affordable completions, up 80% to 938 homes, following the acquisition of Westleigh, and PRS homes up 68% to 608 homes, driven by the framework agreement with Sigma,” it said in a statement.

Turnover for the six months to 31 March 2019 rose by one-fifth to £563.7m. Operating profit was up 11% to £89.4m, although pre-tax profit edged downwards by 3% to £70m.

The group’s total forward order book rose 49% to £1.04bn.

Countryside said its private sales average selling price (ASP) dipped by 4% to £377,000, after an increase in activity in the North of England and the Midlands, where ASPs were lower, while the affordable ASP fell 12% to £148,000, reflecting growth in the proportion of homes delivered by the firm’s regional businesses.