* Full-year sale completions up 12 pct to 2,657 units
* Private forward order book up 64 pct to 225.4 mln stg
* Shares up 2.5 percent
(Adds CEO, analyst comments, details, share movement)
By Esha Vaish
Oct 12 Property developer Countryside Properties
said on Wednesday strong trading since the last week of
July had more than offset an initial jump in cancellation rates
after Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June.
The comments add to signs from official data and other
builders that Britain's housing market has recovered from a
brief setback in the wake of the "Brexit" vote.
Countryside, which regenerates public land as well as builds
houses on its own plots, said trading over the summer and into
autumn had been stronger than it had expected and ahead of last
"What we did see is an increase of cancellations as people
became concerned about the outcome of the referendum. But within
three weeks post the referendum we were back trading absolute
normal levels," Chief Executive Ian Sutcliffe told Reuters.
Countryside said it was well placed to meet analysts'
expectations for its new financial year ending September 2017,
despite the fact many of its developments are in and around
London, which industry experts say is experiencing a larger
fallout from Brexit than the rest of the country.
Sutcliffe said Countryside sold almost exclusively to
owner-occupiers, and so had not been hit by new taxes on second
homes, and that none of its properties were in London's most
expensive central areas.
"Some of the mixed messages that are coming out of the
housing sector are saying that if you're in the wrong location
or you're too expensive then it's undoubtedly slower," he said.
"We're in the right place with the right product at the
right price point and in the areas that we operate in (demand
is) actually very strong."
The company, which also operates in the South East, West
Midlands and Manchester, had resold houses whose reservations
were cancelled in the wake of the Brexit vote for values 1.5
percent higher than the original price, Sutcliffe added.
Countryside said total sale completions rose 12 percent to
2,657 units in the year ended Sept. 30. Its private forward
order book was 64 percent higher at 225.4 million pounds ($280
Sutcliffe said Countryside was working on bids for 33,500
regeneration plots and opportunities in that business "continued
The company's strong order book and regeneration work should
"support a premium rating to the sector", wrote Numis analysts,
who have a "buy" rating and 296 pence target price on the stock.
The shares were up 2.5 percent at 236.6 pence at 0920 GMT.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)