Vistry banks on partnerships to ride out private sales drop
Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said that strengthening Vistry’s partnerships housing business with the Countryside purchase had created a less cyclical and more resilient business.
In a end of year trading update this morning, Fitzgerald said Vistry started the new financial year with forward sales totalling £4.6bn (31 Dec 2021: £2.7bn), including £3.6bn for the newly enlarged Partnerships operation.
“We are seeing a sustained level of demand across Partnerships from housing associations, local authorities and the private rented sector, with a strong first quarter pipeline,” he said.
Vistry private house building forward sales were down at £1bn compared with £1.3bn a year ago.
Fitzgerald described this forward sales position as encouraging given the challenging market conditions and significant step-down in private sales rates in the final quarter of last year.
“It is too early in the current year to predict the outturn for private sales, however I remain cautiously optimistic that buyer sentiment will improve over the coming months.”
Adjusted pre-tax profit for 2022 is expected to be up 21% at around £418m. Full-year results will be announced in March.