2018 continues to offer a mixed picture to the industry with uncertainy around Brexit, continued labour uncertainty as well as wider changes in economical and currency stability around the world, coupled with this 2018 has seen unusual weather throughout, giving an additional twist to construction output.
During its year ending June 30 2018, Barratt achieved its highest number of completions for a decade at 17,579 completions in total. Although this was a modest 1.1% increase on FY 2017, total average selling price, profit and revenue all lifted.
David Thomas, Barratt’s ceo, said: “The group has had another outstanding year delivering a strong operational and financial performance, and our highest volumes in a decade. As the UK’s largest housebuilder we are helping to address the country’s housing shortage – creating jobs and supporting economic growth whilst continuing to lead the industry in quality and customer service.”
Again a mixed but generally positive outlook, Berkeley said that conditions in the London and south east market had remained unchanged since it announced its full year results in June. “Pricing has remained robust as there is demand for good quality, well located homes that enhance communities and meet the local housing need,” its statement read.
Berkeley continued: “In essence, this is a market that lacks urgency and London remains constrained by high transaction costs, restrictive income multiple limits on mortgage borrowing and prevailing economic uncertainty, accentuated by Brexit. These headwinds affect all segments of the market from home movers to downsizers and investors alike.”
Despite the tough market conditions, Berkeley said it had acquired five new sites in the period and anticipated that net cash at the half year would be above its year-end position.
Meanwhile Churchill Retirement and others have raised concerns on the constrained and challenging industry factors.
Sapphire has continued to support developers, contractors and architects throughout the year with educating and inspiring the industry with both project specific innovations and raising the market standards generally.
In particular 2018 so far Sapphire has launched its Rigid.Ready.Right brand promise, created a free 3D balcony configurator and will shortly be exhibiting at the Explore Offsite event, a Manchester conference looking at how modular offsite solutions can address key issues like the labour shortage.
Another key area Sapphire continues to take the ‘bull by the horns’ is balcony fires, where Sapphire has researched, developed and continue to test new solutions as well as launching a new 15-minute presentation.
Let’s see what the rest of 2018 will bring.