In an interim management statement covering the past five months Crest Nicholson said that sales had been improving since the start of the calendar year, supported initially by 'Funding for Lending' feeding through into lower mortgage rates. The more recent introduction of the 'Help to Buy' scheme has provided a further stimulus to activity, it said.
Open-market reservation rates since 1 May (excluding reservations taken under build-to-rent) have been 0.95 per outlet week, up 46% on the 0.65 rate for the equivalent period in 2012 and 23% on the 0.77 rate achieved in the first half of this year.
Forward sales for 2014 and beyond total £145m, a 92% increase on the £75m achieved this time last year.
The fall in cancellation rates, from 15.8% a year ago to 10.5% today, also indicates market improvement.
Crest Nicholson, which floated on the stock market earlier this year, is now building at 46 sites, compared to 39 this time last year.
The downside is that the higher levels of reservations “have brought some initial pressures to bear on elements of our supply chain,” the company said. “As expected, we have seen some cost increases in certain building materials and also some delivery delays. As our suppliers and sub-contractors adjust to the new levels of activity, we anticipate that such pressures will abate and we remain on track to deliver our planned production outputs for 2013.”