But half year trading update shows housing association’s completions flat on last year

Housing association Peabody more than doubled the number of homes it started construction on in the first half of the financial year, according to a trading update issued yesterday.

The 67,000-home landlord said it started work on 801 homes in the six months to September this year, up from just 390 in the period last year, which encompassed the first spring covid lockdown.

Peabody Thamesmead SOUTHMERE phase2

Peabody’s plans for the regeneration of the Thamesmead estate

But the registered provider, which is in the process of merging with rival Catalyst to form a 104,000-home landlord, made no progress in increasing the number of completions compared to last year, with 502 homes built, compared to 501 in 2020.

This compares to its group strategy, set out before the pandemic, to be building 3,300 homes per year from 2021/22.

Peabody said its half year turnover rose to £346m as it nearly doubled sales revenue to £92m from £51m. The association has £1.2bn in cash and undrawn facilities to finance its development programme.

Eamonn Hughes, CFO of Peabody, said it was a “strong” financial performance, but that he expected the trading environment “to become more difficult in the second half of the year as we absorb increasing repairs and maintenance costs”.

He said the organisation’s development programme was making good progress, with the acquisition of the site for a 3,000-home scheme on the former Ford Stamping Plant at Dagenham completed.