McCarthy & Stone prof­its slump as the pop­u­la­tion ages

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

MCCARTHY & Stone has warned that Bri­tain is “woe­fully un­pre­pared” for the demands of its rapidly-age­ing pop­u­la­tion, as prof­its halved fol­low­ing tepid de­mand for sec­ond-hand homes.

The group said the Gov­ern­ment is in dan­ger of ig­nor­ing the hous­ing needs of older peo­ple if it fails to widen its fo­cus be­yond first-time buy­ers and de­liver pol­icy which sup­ports the con­struc­tion of re­tire­ment hous­ing.

Its clar­ion call came as prof­its took a bat­ter­ing from a cock­tail of pres­sures, in­clud­ing the slug­gish sec­ond-hand mar­ket, es­ca­lat­ing build­ing costs, lower com­ple­tions and a need to bol­ster mar­ket­ing spend to help lift sales.

It also suf­fered from a pause in “build-start ac­tiv­ity” in the wake of the Brexit vote in June 2016.

Pre-tax prof­its plum­meted 52 per cent to £10.5m for the hal­fyear ending Fe­bru­ary 28, while rev­enues eked out 1 per cent growth at £239.6m over the pe­riod.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Clive Fen­ton said trad­ing was “re­silient”, but he urged politi­cians to use a re­view of plan­ning and social care leg­is­la­tion to re­bal­ance hous­ing pol­icy to­wards help­ing older peo­ple.

He said: “The grow­ing need for re­tire­ment hous­ing caused by our rapidly age­ing pop­u­la­tion also means the long-term prospects for our busi­ness con­tinue to be pos­i­tive.

“How­ever, the UK re­mains woe­fully un­pre­pared for these de­mo­graphic changes and we are call­ing for a joined-up pol­icy ap­proach across all Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to en­cour­age the de­liv­ery of bet­ter hous­ing op­tions for older peo­ple.”

The firm saw its av­er­age sell­ing price climb 15 per cent to £298,000 for the hal­fyear.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.