Crest sees signs of life in UK housing market

Kasmira Jefford
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CREST NICHOLSON said government initiatives designed to help struggling homebuyers and improving housing market conditions in the south of England have helped boost its results in first half of the year.

Chief executive Stephen Stone yesterday said the housebuilder, which floated on the stock market in February for £553m, “has made a strong start to its first two months as a listed company”.

The firm reported a nine per cent rise in completions in the six months to 30 April 2013, with 810 homes sold compared with 746 over the same period last year, driven by a 30 per cent rise in private house sales.

Sales rates in the period averaged at 0.77 sales per outlet week, 18 per cent ahead of the same period last year.

The housebuilder said prices had also held firm, particularly in London, where prices have risen by three per cent to £241,000.

Crest added the housing market showed “some signs of stirring from the sluggish environment of the past 12 months”, with the government’s Help to Buy scheme already helping to boost buyer demand.