Retirement housing specialist McCarthy & Stone is planning to build 12,000 new homes over the next four years.
The firm will also launch three more regions by dividing each of its existing North, South West and Midlands regions into two more geographically-focused areas, giving nine regional offices in total.
More than 400 people will be recruited into these new regions over the next four years, said the firm.
The expansion plans come as the specialist revealed strong results for the six months to February 28 2015 with pre-tax profits up to £32m from £18.2m last time.
Revenue rose to £118.5m from £149.7m as McCarthy & Stone started building work on 39 sites during the period, compared to 22 in the same previous period.
Legal completions rose 18% to 776 at a net average selling price up 10% to £226k.
During the first half, McCarthy & Stone made significant further targeted investment in land with 44 additional development sites brought under its control – the most in any first half period in the company’s history.
The firm now holds a sizeable land pipeline, totalling 9,459 units (2014: 8,457), which equates to more than 5 years’ supply.
Group chairman John White said: “We continue to target investment of £2bn in land and build over four years to deliver around 12,000 new homes across more than 300 locations, support growth and capture a wider share of the active retiree market.
“Our strategy of creating an efficient and scalable business capable of building and selling more than 3,000 units per annum over the medium term remains firmly on track.
“The challenges presented by an ageing population means that there remains a pressing need to build more specialist retirement housing, and we have been actively calling on all political parties to focus on this area ahead of the forthcoming general election.
“It is imperative that they look beyond the needs of first time buyers and proactively encourage more and better housing options for our growing elderly population.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed the Government will exempt small housing sites of 10 units or fewer from the Allowable Solutions scheme.
The scheme is being introduced so that house builders can achieve government targets for all new homes to be low carbon from 2016 by using a range of off-site carbon abatement measures.
In a written ministerial statement yesterday Pickles said: ”We have decided there will be an exemption for small housing sites of 10 units or fewer, which are most commonly developed by small scale home builders and can be more expensive to develop irrespective of the size of the builder, from the allowable solutions element of the zero carbon homes target.
"This means that all new homes will be required to meet the strengthened on-site energy performance standard but those building on small sites will not be required to support any further off-site carbon abatement measures.
“We will also put in place legislation to ensure that this exemption is not abused”.
Mike Leonard, chief executive of the Modern Masonry Alliance, said: “This is very welcome and a vote for common sense. We must do all we can to get local builders back in the mix to help deliver the 200,000 homes we need.
“This move will ensure small builders do not incur additional cost penalties but continue to deliver high quality homes to the very latest standards.”
House builder Bellway has delivered strong profit growth in the fast half of the year to the end of January.
The firm, which is strengthening its regional presence from its northern base to the south east, raised pre-tax profits 52% to £159m.
The sharp improvement comes of the back of 16% jump in completions to 3,754 homes and average selling price up 3.4% to £219,343.
Bellway said that the government’s Help to Buy equity loan initiative played an important role during the six months, representing 23.8% of its reservations.
It also reported it had seen little sign of the usual pre-election lull.
Bellway, which has gone from building 4,380 homes in 2009 to a forecast 7,500 this year, said its order book was 35% ahead of last year at £1.1bn.
Ted Ayres, Bellway’s chief executive, said that despite uncertainty as the 7 May general election look to be the closest in years, Bellway’s reservations have risen 10% year-on-year since Christmas.
“We are only six weeks away, but the buying public don’t seem to have been turned off buying houses by the election. Normally you get a bit more of a slowdown.”
He added that the north has shown particular strength, with an increase of 23.6% in completions to 1,822, resulting primarily from land investment over recent years.
The average selling price in the north rose by 5.8% to £187,777, while the south edged up by 3.4% to £249,112.
The south has also performed well with the number of completions rising by 9.1% to 1,932.
London continues to form an important part of Bellway's output, with revenue of £203m, arising from this region (2014 - £174.6 million), representing 24.7% of total housing revenue, which was up nearly 19% to £831m.
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