Crest Nicholson sees ‘signs of stirring’ in housing market

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Housebuilder Crest Nicholson, which returned to the stock market in February, today said it has made a strong start to life as a listed company again.

The group said it completed 810 sales in the six months to 30 April, up 9 per cent on a year earlier, with the average selling price rising about 3 per cent to £241,000.

Crest, which spent nearly four decades as a listed firm before being taken private by Bank of Scotland and Sir Tom Hunter in a £715 million deal in 2007, said economic conditions remained tough but the market is “showing some signs of stirring from the benign but sluggish environment in which it has operated for the last 12 months or so”.

Chief executive Stephen Stone said new measures announced in the Budget, such as the Help to Buy scheme, had sparked “significant” interest among buyers, although he noted that such schemes can take some time to translate into increased sales.