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McCarthy & Stone to up development spend by a third

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone has said it will increase its investment in development to £2bn over four years.

The firm said it would raise its investment in land and build from the £1.5bn target it announced a year ago.

In a trading update, published today, the company said it would “more than double in size” to develop over 3,000 units in the medium term.

It acquired 74 sites during the year ending 31 August 2014 capable of producing 2,500 extra units, up from 1,776 the previous year.

The firm’s sales prices during the year were up from an average of £184,000 to £214,000, which it said reflected a “more disciplined approach to discounts and incentives” and demand for retirement housing.

Legal completions rose 10 per cent to 1,677 homes while the firm’s net debt fell £14m to £49m.

The company hired new leaders during the year including chairman John White, formerly chairman and chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon, and chief executive Clive Fenton who was group director of Barratt Developments and chief executive of developer Mount Anvil.

In July the company said it would open its first new regional office for 14 years to cater for north London, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Mr White said: “I am delighted to announce we are raising our investment target for land and build to £2 billion over the next four years in order to respond to the significant nationwide need for high-quality, specialist housing for the growing number of over 65s who are looking to downsize.”

The company will publish its full results for the period on 3 November 2014.

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