Brexit risks hit Telford Homes

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Ros Snow­don CITY ED­I­TOR @RosSnow­don

Telford Homes has warned that neg­a­tive Brexit sen­ti­ment is af­fect­ing hous­ing mar­ket de­mand, with buy­ers adopt­ing a ‘wait and see’ ap­proach as Bri­tain’s exit day looms.

The house­builder said cus­tomers are more cau­tious when it comes to pur­chases over £600,000 as they look for price re­duc­tions to “off­set a per­cep­tion of higher risk as Brexit gets closer”.

“In re­cent weeks there has been an in­creas­ing amount of neg­a­tive com­men­tary around the out­come of Brexit and the im­pact it may have on the UK econ­omy and hous­ing mar­ket,” the firm said.

“This adds to a more gen­eral down­turn in the mar­ket for ex­pen­sive prime homes in Lon­don which has been ev­i­dent for some time.”

Telford added that over­seas de­mand has been stymied by “re­cent Brexit com­men­tary and talk of in­creased stamp duty”.

The warn­ing comes as the com­pany at­tempts to mar­ket its new E16 de­vel­op­ment to Asian in­vestors.

How­ever, the group said that, de­spite the un­cer­tain back­drop, it has con­tin­ued to achieve sales at a con­sis­tent rate in the last few months, par­tic­u­larly where houses are priced un­der £600,000, with a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of cus­tomers us­ing Help to Buy.

Telford ex­pects to book more than £50m of pre-tax profit, as­sum­ing the mar­ket “does not worsen fur­ther as the Brexit date ap­proaches”.

First half profit will be lower than the sec­ond, but is ex­pected to ex­ceed the £8.7m recorded in last year’s first half.

CEO Jon Di-Ste­fano said: “Not­with­stand­ing the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the out­come of Brexit, the group con­tin­ues to per­form well.”

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