Excellent growth for Countryside in both divisions

Countryside Properties’ Housebuilding division has reported a “very strong first half”. The completions totalling 450 homes which is a rise of 54% on the equivalent period last year.

Giving an update ahead of the release of its half year results on May 17, the division’s private average selling price dropped 31% to £540,000 during the six months from October 1 2016 to March 31 2017 against H1 2016, which Countryside said was in line with its plans to reduce its focus on higher end product.

As of March 31 2017, the Housebuilding division had 29 open sales outlets against 22 at the same point in 2016. It said that it continued to open new outlets within a 50-mile radius of London, with a further 12 sites under construction.

Countryside’s Partnerships arm also performed well with total completions rising 23% to 987 homes, with the private ASP rising 24% to £365,000, guided by strong growth in Greater London and improved trading in Manchester and Liverpool.

Combining both divisions, completions increased 31% to 1,437 homes. Sales rates rose to 0.89 from H1 2016’s 0.79.

Countryside said its growth in the first half was underpinned by customer demand, government support and good mortgage availability.

Ian Sutcliffe, group ceo, said: “We have seen excellent growth in both divisions during the first six months of the year. We look forward to continuing our sector-leading growth trajectory and remain confident of making further progress on our medium-term targets as laid out at our IPO just over a year ago.”