Business hits record levels as Bovis aims to double house sales

Housebuilder Bovis Homes hopes to double the number of houses it sells over the next three years, as a strong housing market boosts its business to record levels.

Bovis and rivals such as York-based Persimmon and Barratt Developments have been helped over the past year by Government schemes such as Help To Buy, which has stoked demand for newly-built homes.

Bovis, one of the sector’s smaller housebuilders with a market value of £1.2bn, aims to sell 4,000-5,000 homes per year in the next two to three years.

It completed the sale of 2,813 homes in 2013.

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Chief executive David Ritchie said: “We’re now talking about structuring the business to have a capacity between 4,000 to 5,000 units per annum in the medium term. “You can sense from that we don’t expect the growth to stop for a number of years.

“We’re trading on better locations, we’re selling better as an organisation, and we’d be naive to say that the market is not better,” he said.

The company expects to sell 3,400-3,600 homes in 2014, based on reservation numbers in the first few weeks of the year and its expansion of sales outlets.

It secured 468 private reservations in the first seven weeks of 2014, 64 per cent more than last year.

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“Since its flotation in 1997, the business peaked at 3,100 units in 2006, so we’re already talking about 2014 being bigger than we’ve ever been before,” said Mr Ritchie.

Bovis has been buying up land and boosted sales outlets across the country to 93. It has a land bank of 14,638 plots with planning permission.

It reported a 48 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the year to the end of December of £78.8m, on revenues of £556m.

Its average sales price rose 14 per cent to £195,100 as a result of selling more larger homes and a greater proportion of higher value southern sites.

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Bovis has a number of developments in Yorkshire including Broad Oaks in Hemsworth, a development of one, three, four and five-bedroom homes close to Moorthorpe railway station, which has direct lines to Sheffield, York and Leeds.

Its Holmes Meadow development at Selby offers two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, close to shops, libraries, parks and schools.

Holmes Meadow is 15 miles from York and not far from Leeds, Doncaster and Barnsley.

Bovis’s Woolley Grange site has views across the Dearne Valley, and offers a range of two and six-bedroom homes.