Cala to reveal lift in sales from Help to Buy scheme

The figures should indicate growth in all aspects of Cala's business, including margins, reservations and completions. Picture: TSPL
The figures should indicate growth in all aspects of Cala's business, including margins, reservations and completions. Picture: TSPL
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CALA Homes is expected to unveil record annual profits tomorrow and confirm that the government’s Help to Buy scheme has given the housebuilding sector a lift.

The figures should indicate growth in all aspects of Cala’s business, including margins, reservations and completions.

The company – which was acquired by Patron Capital Partners and Legal & General group in March, valuing it at £210 million – is likely to update on its expansion plans, particularly in the south of England.

It tends to build higher-end properties in relatively prosperous locations and the backing of its new owners is expected to accelerate this move.

Earlier this year it appointed Graham Cunningham and Kevin Whitaker to newly created roles of regional chairmen to achieve its ambitions.

Its latest update indicated that the gross margin over 
the year will come in at about 19 per cent, compared with 16.4 per cent last year. The average selling price of a Cala property is now £333,000, the highest outside London of any housebuilder in the top 20. Private completions are up 4 per cent to 695.

Strong private reservations are also up 4 per cent, equivalent to 0.56 sales per site per week and an improvement on the prior year of 0.51 sales.

The company says there has been particularly strong momentum since January, with private reservations in the first six months up 10 per cent.

Cala’s land bank now stands at more than 9,600 plots, 
with a potential gross development value of £3.1 billion, equivalent to approximately seven years’ output on current projections.

The company’s net bank debt of less than £50m is the lowest since Cala was taken private in 1999.

Speaking earlier this year, chief executive Alan Brown said the early success of Help to Buy and the continued 
impact of the Funding for Lending Scheme had combined to provide a much-
needed boost to the mortgage market, in particular helping first-time buyers.