Cruden Group to build 25% more Scottish homes to tackle 'chronic undersupply'

Cruden's current projects include the development of 66 homes at Edinburgh's Waverley Square.
Cruden's current projects include the development of 66 homes at Edinburgh's Waverley Square.
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Cruden Group, the development and residential construction business, has revealed ambitious targets to boost the number of houses it delivers by one quarter over the coming year, in a bid to address a “chronic undersupply” of homes in Scotland.

The group, which enjoyed its 20th consecutive year of profitable trading this year, said it will increase its investment in developing new housing – to sell both in its own name and with joint venture partners – and expand into new sectors to drive growth.

Cruden has pre-sold 90 per cent of its private housing units for the year. Picture: Nick Callaghan

Cruden has pre-sold 90 per cent of its private housing units for the year. Picture: Nick Callaghan

Chief executive Kevin Reid said Cruden is “helping to plug the housing gap” as it seeks to provide 25 per cent more new homes in the coming year.

The group forecasts annual turnover will likewise increase by 25 per cent to approximately £240 million. It expects some £195m of this to be contributed by construction services for housing clients – representing approximately 1,250 units – and £45m from the delivery of around 250 homes for private sale, including joint ventures.

Cruden has reported turnover of £108m for the first-half and said it has pre-sold 90 per cent of its private housing units for the year.

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To meet evolving market demand and “futureproof” the business, the group has expanded into new areas of development, including the delivery of build-to-rent properties for the private sector.

It will soon be launching its first retirement living development under the newly established Juniper Residential brand.

'Enormous undersupply'

The group’s current projects include the first residential development of 66 homes at the £35m Waverley Square development in the capital’s old town; the construction of 224 units on the former St Stephen’s School campus in Port Glasgow; and the construction of more than 600 residential units at the Ropeworks development in Leith.

It has more than 600 direct members of staff and a further 1,000 sub-contractors currently working in its supply chain.

Reid said: “It’s well documented that the country is suffering from an enormous undersupply of much needed new homes across all tenures.

“We have already seen a strong first six months of trading with turnover in the first six months of the year being £108m and the group well on the way to meeting its target of delivering 1,500 new homes through a combination of private units for sale and those units delivered for our housing clients.”

“By future proofing the business through investing in new markets, we have already secured a robust forward order book up to March 2021 and a growing pipeline beyond that.

“We expect to be able to sustain turnover at this enhanced level in the period to March 2021 and we look forward with confidence to the years ahead.”