Bovis house reservations up 43% in stronger market
Further signs of an upturn in the housing market have been underlined by Kent-based housebuilder Bovis Homes reporting a surge in reservations.
The group, with its head office in New Ash Green, said private reservations had jumped by 43% to 1,712 in the year to August 9. The UK housing market had been "immeasurably stronger" than 2012, with home buyers having greater access to mortgages and appearing more confident about buying a home. This had been supported by the Help to Buy shared equity scheme.
Bovis also reported first-half rises in revenue - up 17% on the same period a year ago to £183.2 million - and pre-tax profit - up 19% to £18.6 million.
Legal completions int the first six months totalled 963, up from 944 in the same period a year ago. Of these, 839 were private homes, up 4%, with the rest social homes.
Average sales price increased by 15% to £188,500, primarily due to the mix of homes and ahead of group expectations. It reported volume growth from a greater number of sales outlets, primarily in the south of England, and improved sales rate per site.
On June 30, it had a consented land bank of 15,579 plots after adding 2,767 plots on 18 sites during the first six months of the year.
David Ritchie, chief executive of Bovis Homes Group PLC, said: “The Group has delivered a 43% increase in private reservations in the year to date, resulting from the improving quality and increasing number of active sales outlets. This improvement has been further assisted by the positive effect of stronger home buyer sentiment, supported by the Help to Buy scheme launched in April 2013.
“The Group is circa 90% sold for the current financial year. This will allow the Group to deliver the required remaining reservations over the next few weeks and to build a significantly enhanced forward order book for 2014.
“The positive trading position, combined with an increasing proportion of legal completions on new, more profitable sites, will enable the Group to increase profits significantly in 2013 in line with its expectations, subject to stable market conditions.”
Bovis announced a 4p interim dividend, up on last year’s 3p for the same period.
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