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Crest Nicholson trading update shows completions up 8% ahead of full-year results

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson is on track to hit its revenue target of £1bn by 2016, it has said.

In a trading update to the City ahead of publication of its full-year results, the firm said it was also targetting £1.4bn of revenue and 4,000 homes built per year by 2019.

Crest Nicholson increased its unit completions by 8 per cent year on year in the 12 months to 31 October 2015, with total completions rising to 2,725 from 2,530 in the previous year.

Forward sales by volume increased 12 per cent over the same period, with the firm selling 1,680 units compared with 1,499 a year earlier.

This amounted to £328.9m of forward sales – up 32 per cent compared with the £249.4m recorded for the year to 31 October 2014, which the firm attributed to the “continued development” of its private rented sector offer.

Average selling prices were up 10 per cent in the year to hit £309,000, in line with the firm’s established strategy.

The company has 16,064 units in its short-term pipeline, which represents 5.9 years of supply.

This is 10,000 fewer than the previous year, when the firm had 17,247 units and 6.8 years of supply.

Crest will publish its full-year results on 26 January 2016.

In line with fellow housebuilders Barratt and Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson said build cost inflation had “shown signs of moderating” over the summer, but added that the planning system remained a challenge for the current market.

“Capacity within the supply chain will continue to be a constraint within the industry, as will the speed at which planning consents are granted and planning conditions cleared,” the housebuilder said.

“It remains important that resourcing in local authority planning departments matches the levels of planning activity that are contemplated in delivering increased volumes of housing.”



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