Countrywide lifts forecasts as it predicts housing volumes boost

Kasmira Jefford
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BRITAIN’S biggest estate agency Countrywide increased its full-year profit forecast yesterday as it bets on a strong uplift in housing sales.

The company, which raised £200m when it returned to the stock market earlier this year, has been helped by the housing market recovery, fuelled by government measures to help struggling Britons purchase their own properties.

Revenue increased by 12 per cent to £154.9m in the third quarter of the year thanks to improved lettings and sales, with house exchanges up 13 per cent to 18,102.

The group said Britain’s housing recovery was gaining momentum and welcomed the government’s decision to bring forward the second stage of the Help to Buy scheme.

“Market data confirms the continuation of recent trends and we now expect the second half of 2013 to provide the foundation for a strong recovery in market volumes in 2014,” chief executive Grenville Turner said.

Jefferies analysts upgraded their earnings forecast by six per cent to £80m for the full-year.