Selling starter and family homes priced below £1,000 per sqft has generated a record set of operating successes and financial figures for London and Home Counties housebuilder Weston Homes. In its year-end 2015 Annual Review of the company’s performance over the last financial year the housebuilder has announced the following set of financial results:
- Turnover of £138.5m, up £22m on last year and the highest figure for 10 years
- Pre-tax profit of £14.1m, up 116% on last year, and the highest for 10 years
- Record number of sales reservations at 845 homes, up 15% on last year
- Record number of sales completions at 617 homes, up 15% on last year
- Half year forward sales to end July 2015 up 76% to £167.9m
- £62.5m invested in new site/land acquisitions, the highest level in any financial year
- Portfolio of 2,300 new homes in the development pipeline
- Banking facility increased from £100m to £120m
- Over the current five year business plan some £1 billion worth of new residential property or mixed use developments will be constructed
Weston Homes has achieved this success by focusing on the starter and family home markets in outer London and the surrounding commuter region. The company has typically marketed and sold one and two bedroom apartments and three bedroom family houses at prices ranging from £140,000 up to £1 million. In addition to success in the private sale marketplace, 139 of the company’s reservations in this financial year have been facilitated through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme for first time purchasers and 198 affordable housing units have been completed, working in partnership with housing associations.
Alongside the success of the Group’s core residential property development business the conference, serviced office and environmental consultancy businesses have all reported improved results, putting the Group in an extremely strong position going forward.
Established in 1987 and led by Chairman & Managing Director Bob Weston, Weston Homes undertakes new build, conversion and mixed-use projects on brownfield-land sites in outer London and the Home Counties.
Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director of Weston Homes said: “We believe that the Prime and super-prime markets in London have become overheated and have been badly effected by the recent Stamp Duty and Tax changes. Our long term strategy has always been to focus on outer London and the Home Counties and be successful through selling homes to end users who are typically first time buyers, families or individual investors.”
Bob Weston says: “We launch our schemes to UK buyers first, we avoid overpriced sites in the heart of London and we are not building homes priced above the recent Stamp Duty threshold. In my view there remains a huge demand and undersupply of value-for-money starter and family homes across Southern England and so this is where we focus our product and sales.”
To capitalise on this forward sales success the company is launching a series of new projects in Q1 2016 and has acquired a number of new sites for future development. In early 2016 Weston Homes will be launching two new projects - Nightingale Rise in Buckingham, a scheme of apartments and family houses, and Southpoint in Southend-on-Sea, a scheme of apartments.
Later in Spring 2016 the company will be launching its latest flagship development - Langley Square in Dartford, which consists of the regeneration of the 7.59 acre historic Wellcome Factory site into a scheme of striking contemporary buildings providing 400 homes fronting onto a lake/waterfeature.
On Fish Island, located off Monier Road in Hackney Wick, Weston Homes has acquired a site which has full planning consent to provide 120 new homes. The project will launch in Autumn 2016. On Abbey Road in Barking, the company has purchased a waterfront site overlooking the River Roding which will provide 118 new homes. The project is scheduled to launch at the end of 2016.
On Roman Road in the village of Mountnessing in Essex Weston Homes has acquired a site which will provide a scheme of 85 starter and family homes complete with woodland, park and local play areas.
Weston Homes has also acquired the historic Peterborough Memorial Hospital site off Thorpe Road in Peterborough. The long entrance driveway and Neo-Georgian Memorial hospital, constructed in 1925-28 and designed in a country manor style by architect Wallace Marchment, will be retained and converted into apartments. Around this centrepiece new apartment buildings and houses will be constructed creating a landmark scheme providing 63 homes.
Weston Homes has corporate offices in Marylebone and Stansted, with additional sales/marketing suites on larger developments. The number of people employed by the business has risen from 210 to over 330, with some 30 staff being young trainees who have joined the company from school, college or university.
To manage its expansion, the company took the strategic descision to evolve the production side of the business into regions. The technical, commercial, construction and sales teams have now been re-organised into three regional businesses, reporting to the Group board of directors and head office team. These changes have allowed close teamwork and efficiency and has further strengthened the overall performance of the business.
Weston Homes highlight that the quality of the company’s banking covenants with HSBC and Lloyds, with the funding facility raised from £100 million to £120 million, provides the business with significant stability and financial stature. This powerful financial backing will enable Weston Homes to effectively double the size of the business over the next 4-5 years.
For further information on Weston Homes Tel 01279 873 300 or visit: www.weston-homes.com.