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UK builder Crest Nicholson's house prices jump 12 percent
May 16, 2017 / 7:56 AM / 4 months ago

UK builder Crest Nicholson's house prices jump 12 percent

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - 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 the country.

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 with stakeholders.

“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

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