Gleeson sees strong demand from key workers as it reports record number of home completions

Urban regeneration housebuilder MJ Gleeson has completed a record number of new homes and reported robust demand for its "high-quality, low-cost" homes.

Gleeson Homes completed the sale of 1,812 homes during the year to June 30

The nation’s key workers are flocking to buy Gleeson homes after the firm put nurses, police, teachers, supermarket workers and lorry drivers at the front of the queue with early release dates and kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

Over 60 per cent of Gleeson’s buyers are key workers and the Sheffield-based firm said it is keen to recognise their contribution to the UK during the pandemic.

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Gleeson Homes completed the sale of 1,812 homes during the year to June 30, a record number for the division, and an increase of 69 per cent compared with the previous year and 18.5 per cent more than the 1,529 homes sold in the pre-Covid year to June 2019.

The average selling price of homes sold during the year increased by 11 per cent to £145,800.

The firm said that buying a Gleeson home remains highly affordable and a young working couple on the National Living Wage can afford to buy a Gleeson home on any one of its development sites.

Gleeson said its homes division has entered the new financial year in a strong position with a forward order book standing at £134.1m on 841 plots.

10 new build sites were opened during the second half of the year bringing the full year total number of sites opened to 27, a record number of new sites opened in a year.

The division starts the new financial year with 81 build sites, of which 61 are actively selling.

The land pipeline of owned and conditionally purchased plots at 30 June 2021 increased by 15 per cent to 15,863 plots on 152 sites, of which 7,933 plots on 65 sites have been conditionally purchased subject to planning permission.

The board has a target of delivering 2,000 units in the year to June 2022.

The company said its Gleeson Strategic Land division is a land promotion business that enhances the value of land by securing mainly residential planning consents, predominantly in the South of England.

During the year, Gleeson Strategic Land sold eight sites with the potential to deliver 1,978 plots for housing development.

Gleeson said its land division has started the current financial year in a strong position. Six sites with planning permission, or resolution to grant, have the potential to deliver 2,210 plots for housing development. Three of these sites are in a process for sale.

The portfolio includes 71 sites with the potential to deliver 22,315 plots, and 44 acres of commercial land.

The group ended the year with cash balances of £34.3m and no debt.

As a result of the group’s strong performance, the board expects the results for the financial year to 30 June 2021 to be marginally ahead of market expectations and in line with the results achieved in the pre-Covid year ended 30 June 2019.

Gleeson's chief executive, James Thomson, said: “I am pleased to announce that pre-tax profit is expected to be in line with that achieved in 2019, our last financial year before the impact of the pandemic.

“Gleeson Homes remains on track to sell 2,000 high quality, low-cost homes in the year ahead.

“With a strong pipeline of sites in both our Gleeson Homes and Gleeson Strategic Land divisions, we begin the new financial year confident of delivering further

sustainable growth for all our stakeholders.”