Strong growth in the North is a boost for housebuilder

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Northern housebuilder ​MJ ​Gleeson reported strong customer demand in all its regions and said it expects to report half year profits strongly ahead of last year.

The urban regeneration and strategic land specialist, which was founded in Sheffield more than 100 years ago, said market conditions are healthy and it sold 321 homes in its first half, up 24 per cent on last year’s total of 258.

The current forward order book of 299 homes is up 23 per cent on last year’s figure.

Gleeson expects to report a 25 per cent or more increase in completions in the year to the end of June following last year’s total of 561 homes.

​Gleeson’s chief executive Jolyon Harrison said: “The 
first half performance of both Gleeson Homes and Gleeson Strategic Land has been 
encouraging as we continue to benefit from our focussed, 
twin track strategy of providing low cost family homes in 
the North of England, and 
strategic land promotion in the South.

“We expect to report a result for the full year in line with current expectations.”​

​The Gleeson Homes 
division currently has 39 active sites, up from 33 this time last year.

​The land pipeline​ has increased by 30 per cent to 5,267 plots, of which 1,588 plots have been bought subject to planning permission.

In addition, a further 1,900 plots are in the pipeline to be acquired.

​The Gleeson Strategic Land division sold a 15 acre site with planning permission for 51 plots, along with the sale of 1.5 acres of commercial land from its site in Thanet, Kent.

​Mr Harrison said there are currently eight sites in the portfolio with planning permission or a resolution to grant permission.

Six of these sites, which will deliver 672 plots, are being progressed for sale in the current financial year.

In addition, ​Gleeson has 13 sites where the business is currently awaiting either the determination of a planning application or the outcome of a planning appeal. It ​said it​ ​will ​sell a number of these sites in the current financial year.