Bo­vis shrugs off hous­ing fears

The Scotsman - - Business - By MARTIN FLANA­GAN

Bo­vis Homes yes­ter­day be­came the sec­ond house­builder in 24 hours to shrug off hous­ing mar­ket fears and re­port “ro­bust” de­mand for new prop­er­ties.

The com­pany said in a trad­ing up­date that it was on track to meet full-year tar­gets af­ter re­veal­ing it was fully sold for 2017, its av­er­age sell­ing price was set to in­crease, while “de­mand for new homes con­tin­ues to be ro­bust across all our re­gions and cus­tomer in­ter­est re­mains good”.

Bo­vis’s bullish­ness comes af­ter ri­val Taylor Wim­pey came out with strong fig­ures and a sim­i­larly up­beat out­look on Mon­day.

Greg Fitzger­ald, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bo­vis, said: “Trad­ing is in line with ex­pec­ta­tions, the mar­ket re­mains strong, and we are on track to de­liver an­other dis­ci­plined pe­riod end.”

The group said “in­dus­try fun­da­men­tals” were strong thanks to sup­port from gov­ern­ment hous­ing poli­cies in­clud­ing Help to Buy and a “com­pet­i­tive” mort­gage mar­ket – points also made by Taylor Wim­pey.

In its trad­ing up­date, Bo­vis said cost ef­fi­cien­cies were tar­geted at re­leas­ing at least £180 mil­lion in ad­di­tional cash flow by the end of 2018, hav­ing sold off its shared eq­uity port­fo­lio for some £21.9m and made two land sales that brought in pro­ceeds of £12.9m in the trad­ing pe­riod from 1 July to 10 Novem­ber.

Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion av­er­aged 75 per cent on com­ple­tions since Fe­bru­ary, Bo­vis said, sug­gest­ing the com­pany is still re­cov­er­ing from com­pen­sa­tion costs linked to poor build qual­ity of some homes.

The com­pany has al­ready set aside around £10.5m for af­fected cus­tomers af­ter some homes were sold un­fin­ished and had elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing faults.

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