Housebuilder says order book hits £4.5bn

Housebuilder Vistry has raised its pre-tax profit forecast for this year by £10m on the back of “improving market conditions”, the firm said in a trading update this morning.

The firm, which bought partnerships housebuilding specialist Countryside last November, said it now expects “adjusted” pre-tax profit for the year to be in excess of £450m, up from the £440m it was guiding the market on back in March.

The firm said its weekly private sales rate had soared in recent weeks to an average of 0.83 homes per site in the year-to-date, albeit this figure included the impact of a number of significant bulk sales.

Greg Fitzgerald Vistry

Vistry chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said market conditions had improved since March

However, without taking account of the bulk deals, the firm said its weekly sales rate had still increased to 0.65 homes per site to date, well up on the 0.54 reported at the time of its full year results in March.

The firm said its order book had hit £4.48bn, of which £3.07bn stemmed from partnerships and £1.4bn the firm’s housebuilding operations.

Vistry has recently set itself a target to build 20,000 homes per year, an aim which, if achieved, would make it the largest housebuilder in the UK.

The news came as Countryside Partnerships announced it had secured a contract from Brent council to build 200 homes on the South Kilburn estate regeneration scheme, of which 95 will be affordable. Alongside the firm’s existing contract in the area, this new commission will mean Countryside will deliver 547 homes in South Kilburn in total.