Morris Homes enjoying ‘very active’ market

Cheshire-based Morris Homes saw a 55% increase in sales completed and 90% rise in reservations for agreements to purchase during the six months to October compared to the same time last year.

The company opened sales on 14 sites in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Birmingham, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire in the first six months of its financial year.

The privately owned house builder said revenue for the first half of 2013 was £93m compared to £60m in the first half of 2012.

Last year, Morris, based in Wilmslow, reported sales of £150m in the 12 months to April 2012, posting a £5m profit.

The company did say it expected to have 50 live sites by the end of the calendar year and it would continue to step up land acquisition and construction to meet demand. The total development value of live sites and plots acquired this year is expected to exceed £800m.

Mike Gaskell, chief executive of Morris Homes, said: "The first half of the year has been very active in terms of sales, construction activity and site acquisition. By the end of this calendar year, the development value of our sites under construction and in the pipeline will exceed £1.25bn, indicating the strength of the market, our ambition and the investment we're putting behind the business.

"We are actively recruiting across the group, from construction managers and sub-contractors at our sites to central support functions, as the scale of our operations grows.

"We expect buyer confidence and demand to remain high in the foreseeable future, due to the impact of the Government's Help to Buy initiative and other positive factors influencing the market.

"The outlook for the rest of our financial year is very positive. Our forward order book of private reservations is currently 90% higher than the same time last year and we expect to exceed the budgets we set at the start of the year."

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