LONDON May 16 The price of houses built by
Britain's Crest Nicholson leapt 12 percent year-on-year
over the last six months, much more than the industry average
and showing continued strong demand for properties in parts of
Crest, which operates in London, southern and eastern
England and south Wales, said on Tuesday the price of its homes
rose to an average of 418,000 pounds ($540,000) in the six
months to April 30 as it built more properties in pricier areas.
Surveys from mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide have
shown house prices nationally increasing at about 3-4 percent,
with signs that subdued earnings growth and rising inflation are
putting pressure on consumer budgets.
"18 months to two years ago, we flagged that with a pretty
benign land market, we were replacing our existing sites with
better locations," Chief Executive Stephen Stone told Reuters.
"It's just really an ASP (average selling price) of
developing in those better locations," he said.
Crest said it was on track to deliver a 10 percent increase
in turnover in the twelve moths to the end of October.
Despite bumper results in recent years, the company's
shareholders voted down the directors' pay report in March after
some investors said pretax profit targets in its long-term share
incentive plan were not demanding enough.
Stone said Crest did not plan to change its remuneration
plan following the advisory vote but needed to engage better
"It's early engagement and talking more about our objectives
and stretching targets," he said.
At 0745 GMT, Crest shares were up 0.7 percent at 641 pence.
($1 = 0.7738 pounds)
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter)