Mid cap housebuilder Countryside Properties (CSP) maintains the trend of mostly positive recent updates from the sector, although its shares dip 0.4% to 505p after a strong run.

Increased levels of political certainty have helped boost the share prices of housebuilding firms, with all eyes now likely to turn to how the industry fares during the key spring selling season for new homes.

For the 13-week period from 1 October to 31 December 2019, Countryside saw completions rise to 1,097 homes from 1,094 homes last year at an average selling price of £394,000, roughly unchanged from last year's £395,000.

The net reservation rate was up 29% to 0.81 from 0.63 last year, driven by a 'strong market along with the quality of open outlets,' the company said. The total forward order book was up 65% to £1.57bn.

ANALYST VIEW

Numis analyst Chris Millington says: ‘Countryside's Q1 update shows strong momentum, with sales rates up 29% and the total order book 65% ahead. Whilst completions are flat in Q1 we expect them to accelerate in subsequent quarters.’

He adds: ‘This large increase in the sales rate is a function of better underlying demand conditions, but also the quality and size of the average outlet increasing, which should remain a feature of the business into the future.’

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Issue Date: 23 Jan 2020