Following a bumpy period after the EU referendum, the retirement housebuilder has reported improved sales five weeks into the new financial year.
The Groups trading update on 2 September said that sales immediately post the EU referendum had slowed and cancellations rates had increased, and that consequently the Group came into the new financial year with a forward sales order book of £114 million, down from £131 million in 2015.
Since that update, McCarthy & Stone have reported that trading and other lead indicators are ahead of the previous year. “Over the first five weeks of the new financial year, reservations have been stronger and cancellation rates have returned to more normal levels,” the company said. “New enquiries have increased and first time visitors to our developments have been noticeably ahead of the prior year. Consequently, the Group’s forward order book, including legal completions since 1 September, is now moving towards a similar level to last year at c.£173 million (2015: £177 million).
“This performance provides some early evidence of improving customer sentiment and a potential return to normal trading conditions. More detail on current trading and outlook will be provided in the full year results statement on 15 November 2016.”