Housebuilder using bulk transactions with social landlords to offset private sales slowdown

Vistry has reported a 12% drop in completions as it has battled in recent weeks to maintain sales following increases in mortgage rates.

The housebuilder, in a trading update for the six months to 30 June, reported 2,847 completions, down from 3,219 the previous year, when taking into account the group’s acquisition of Countryside.


Vistry said it has seen a slowdown in its open market sales in recent weeks since the Bank of England’s raised the interest rate to 5% on 22 June.

It said its housebuilding and partnership arms are mitigating this through bulk transactions with housing associations and local authorities.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Vistry, said: “Partnerships is demonstrating its resilience and remains on track to deliver revenue growth in the full year.

“Housebuilding is maintaining a controlled and disciplined approach, taking the opportunity to deliver bulk sales to support overall sales rates and open market pricing. “

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Vistry said its average weekly sales rate for the six month period was 0.86, up from 0.84 last year. However when excluding bulk sales, its sales rate through its housebuilding arm dropped from 0.82 to 0.67. Vistry’s forward sales value in its housebuilding arm stood at £1.22bn as of 30 June, down from £1.34bn the previous year, but its partnerships forward sales increased from £1.32bn to £2.97bn.

The group’s adjusted turnover for the half-year is £810m, down from the £902m the same period the previous year.

Despite the drop in completions and revenue, Vistry said it is still on course to post adjusted pre-tax profit of £450m for the full year as previously expected.