MJ Gleeson is on track to complete 2,000 affordable homes this year as it offers first time buyers a way out of 'renting trap'

Urban regeneration housebuilder MJ Gleeson today revealed it was on track to complete 2,000 homes this financial year as it helps to ease pressures in a "chronically underserved" market.

In the half-year ended December 31 2021, the group's revenue was up 21.7% to £173.5m while the profit before tax also increased by 21.7% to £24.7m.

James Thomson, the chief executive of MJ Gleeson said the group's performance throughout the pandemic provided evidence of its underlying strength.

He added: "We expect Gleeson Homes to deliver 2,000 homes this financial year and Gleeson Land to complete further sales in the second half of the financial year. Consequently, in the absence of any further Covid-19 or supply chain related disruption, the board is confident that results for the full year to 30 June 2022 will be ahead of market expectations.

Urban regeneration housebuilder MJ Gleeson today revealed it was on track to complete 2,000 homes this financial year as it helps to ease pressures in a "chronically underserved" market.

"Demand for our much-needed affordable homes continues unabated. Meanwhile, a focus on investing in our people, organisational structure, training and processes means that the business, supported by a robust financial position, is operationally and structurally very well positioned to achieve further controlled growth. We expect to announce our next medium-term strategic targets at the time of the full-year results.

"Working in cooperation with local and national government to ensure the continued delivery of low-cost affordable homes for first time buyers, we can look to the next stage of the group's development with confidence."

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In a statement, the company said: "Demand for our homes is underpinned by the affordability of the houses we build for a market that has been chronically underserved for decades.

"Although interest rates are widely expected to rise over the course of this year, they are expected to remain historically low. Moreover, mortgage availability continues to improve as lenders offer more high loan to value products.

"In consequence, a Gleeson home will continue to remain within the reach of a couple earning the National Living Wage and without any need for Help to Buy support. The cost of owning a Gleeson home is significantly lower than the cost of renting and will remain so even with modest interest rate rises."

The company said it had secured funding for First Homes under the Government's early delivery programme.

"First Homes will provide discounted affordable homes across our developments specifically for first time buyers - something we have done for many years,'' the company said. "Deposit Unlock, an industry led scheme, is also important in helping first time buyers onto the property ladder and will sit alongside other products, including shared ownership, to support our customers."

However, MJ Gleeson said the planning system remained an area of concern, as highlighted in a recent report from the Built Environment Committee.

"The report calls for urgent reform including better resourced local planning authorities, and clear and transparent local plans,'' the company said. "These views are widely shared by the industry and, without some level of investment, delays in the planning system will continue to limit the supply of consented land and risks holding back housing delivery."

Supply chain pressures, including labour and material prices and availability remain, but are starting to show signs of easing on certain materials, the company said.

The company added: "The impact of these has been managed through the strong relationships that we have with our suppliers and subcontractors, and the unprecedented cost increases that have been offset by selling price inflation. Government figures show that skills shortages accounted for 36% of all construction vacancies. This skills shortage combined with wage inflation remains a challenge for the wider industry."

"There is universal agreement that a solution to legacy building safety issues is urgently needed and that leaseholders should not have to bear any related costs. We have therefore been advocating with the Government an industry-wide, fiscal-based solution involving participation from all stakeholders - including architects, specifiers, insurers, materials producers, suppliers and developers - and which would therefore be both proportionate and pragmatic."