Housebuilder Redrow sees soaring demand for work space in new homes

Housebuilder Redrow has seen huge demand for houses with home offices as the shifting nature of work during the pandemic looks set to stick, bosses said.

Holding the company’s annual general meeting on Friday, chairman John Tutte told shareholders the firm would be adapting in ways that “meets these changing priorities and is attractive to a wide range of buyers”.

He said: “We entered the new financial year in a position of strength and this has been reinforced with strong trading since the start of the year.

“There has been resolute demand for homes with more space to live and work as customers reflect on their lockdown experiences.”

The housing market has seen a mini-boom that has helped hold up the UK’s struggling economy, thanks to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s introduction of a stamp duty holiday – raising the threshold on which it is paid to £500,000.

The holiday ends in March next year and households have been moving in record numbers, with many homeowners looking for bigger properties as lockdown and the pandemic force more people to stay home.

Redrow added that the value of net private reservations on properties in the 18 weeks to October 30 was 5% ahead on last year at £630 million.

The company said demand in the regions has been particularly strong and reiterated its pleasure at scaling back operations in London, where it exited three of six sites it had planned to develop.

Pricing has remained firm with modest gains in the regions – the average selling price for the first 18 weeks was 2% up on last year at £396,000.

Redrow added: “The group’s strategy to focus its future growth in the regions means it is well-positioned to capitalise on the evident shift in buyer priorities as a result of lockdown experiences.

“This, combined with our disciplined approach to operations, a healthy balance sheet and a strong forward order book, creates a solid platform for the future and puts Redrow on course to deliver a robust set of results this financial year.”

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