Now McCarthy and Stone not doing so well

Question: why is there no retirement housing in Cranbrook?

“Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone PLC (LON:MCS) expects first half revenue to fall, reflecting a decline in sales releases and a reduction in the forward order book.

The company expects revenue in the six months to 28 February 2017 to dip to £238mln from £250mln in the year-ago period.

McCarthy & Stone said trading in the first half was constrained by a lower forward order book brought into the year, the weighting of completions from higher margin sites into the second half and a drop in sales releases.

Total legal completions during the period edged down to 866 units from 923 units.

The total forward order book, including legal completions, dropped to £418mln from £440mln, while net reservations fell to 1,084 from 1,132.

The average selling price climbed 1% to £260,000 from £257,000 and the company expects further growth as it improves the location and quality of its developments.

However, margins in the first half are expected to be lower than the previous year.

Net debt is expected to be £30mln, up from £24mln.

“We have delivered a solid performance during this half year despite the headwinds created by the lower forward order book brought into the year and the weighting of expected completions from higher margin new sites into the second half of the year,” said chief executive Clive Fenton.

“Our forward order book remains healthy and leaves us well-placed to deliver results in line with market expectations for the full year.”

Fenton said the market for retirement housing continues to be attractive due to an ageing population. He also noted the UK government’s pledge to address housing needs for older people in February’s Housing White Paper.”