January 23, 2020 / 8:01 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Countryside Properties order book grows on higher home demand

(Adds details on order book, context)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Countryside Properties Plc on Thursday reported a surge in its order book for the first quarter, as the British housebuilder benefited from higher demand for homes and privately owned properties.

The company’s forward order book rose 65% to 1.57 billion pounds ($2.06 billion) in the period, with private orders rising 46% and demand for affordable homes remaining robust.

British housebuilders have been facing slack demand and flattening house prices as the economy weakened after the 2016 Brexit referendum. However, a decisive UK election eased some concerns.

“The business is performing well and we enter the second quarter of FY 2020 with strong customer demand across all tenures and a record forward order book,” Chief Executive Officer Iain McPherson said.

The company, with operations in London, the South East, the North West, the Midlands and Yorkshire, said its reservations rate also rose 29%.

The London-listed company also added that it was on track to deliver its full-year plans after some of the political uncertainty eased.

$1 = 0.7608 pounds Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Bernard Orr

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