Stabilising mortgage rates lead to increase in reservations for housebuilder MJ Gleeson
The company said in an announcement at its annual general meeting that it has traded in line with market expectations.
It said that net reservation rates for the nine weeks to 3 November had increased to 0.47 per site per week, up from 0.43 per site per week during the previous nine weeks to 1 September.
The group’s chairman, James Thomson, said: “Mortgage rates have begun to stabilise and, against a more certain backdrop, we would expect buyer interest to pick up into the seasonally stronger Spring selling season.
“The Board therefore currently expects that the results for FY2024 will be in line with market expectations.”
Gleeson Land also completed the sale of one site since the start of the financial year.
The announcement follows MJ Gleeson experiencing a number of difficulties in its previous financial year.
In September, the company announced that its overall pre-tax profits had fallen from £55.5 million in the 2022 financial year to £31.5 million for the year ending 30 June 2023.
The firm also sold a lower number of homes in the period when compared to 2022, with a drop of 13.9 per cent to 1,723.
The company said that a “disastrous” mini-budget, combined with the withdrawal of the Help to Buy scheme had led to a rapid slowdown in the housing market and a significant fall in demand in the second quarter of the financial year.
The business noted that reservations from first-time buyers in the second half of the year accounted for around 50 per cent of open market reservations, compared to the 80 per cent it has typically seen.
Due to these changes, Sheffield-based Gleeson Homes, which is part of the MJ Gleeson group,last month announced a brand refresh, which will see the house builder attempt to broaden its appeal beyond first-time buyers.
The firm's core focus had previously been on the first-time buyer market.
The company said that while this market remains a key focus, the business has continued to see an increase in interest from other areas, including existing homeowners.
Gleeson said it was also investing in its marketing and sales teams with the re-launch of its customer-focused training programme.