Housebuilder Stewart Milne rolls out home designs for post-pandemic world in £550m sales push

Housebuilder Stewart Milne Homes is targeting some £550 million in revenues with the rollout of a new range of homes to meet the “changing needs of buyers”.

The Aberdeen-headquartered group said it was at the forefront of a “step-change” in the design of the communities in which its newly designed homes will be launched.

It is aiming to generate sales of £300m across its developments in Scotland and north-west England, with a further £250m of house sales in the pipeline over the next two years.

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The move has been described as “the most ambitious and comprehensive re-design of its homes range in the company’s history”.

Stewart Milne Homes: 'Our design teams reviewed how people move around and use their home, examining what they do in each room and what they need as a result'

Stuart Henderson, group product and design director at Stewart Milne, said: “We were undertaking a comprehensive design review of our homes before the pandemic. The enforced lockdown has brought into sharp focus the design and functionality of our homes and accelerated the process.

“Unveiling our new designs at a time when our customers need and expect more from their homes gives us a competitive advantage.

“Following extensive customer research, we set out clear design principles which are at the heart of every new design.

“Our design teams reviewed how people move around and use their home, examining what they do in each room and what they need as a result.

“This has shaped the new lay-outs which are much more functional, including utility rooms with sinks, showers as standard in all family bathrooms, direct access into gardens from kitchens and utility rooms, larger windows and options for a home office on the ground floor, as well as better usable space throughout.”

Meanwhile, bosses at housebuilder Vistry Group have revealed they expect profits this year to be ahead of expectations as a boom in the housing market shows no signs of slowing down.

The company said average weekly sales were up 70 per cent on last year and 21 per cent up on pre-pandemic levels. It is now on track to complete 6,500 units, compared with 4,652 last year – ahead of expectations.

The group, formerly known as Bovis Homes, explained that as a result, underlying pre-tax profits will hit around £325m, compared with previous estimates of £310m for the year.

A transition to the new Help to Buy scheme, which came into force during the period, is also seeing “good demand”, the company noted in an update to investors.

Forward sales for the group hit £2.7 billion, with 83 per cent of forecast units secured, and a target of £1bn revenues by next year remains on track.

But the firm did warn signs of inflation were creeping into the housebuilding market, with economic data from the sector showing raw materials were becoming more expensive.

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Suggestions that the housing market would see a drop-off in demand amid changing policies, were clearly overblown. Vistry’s update confirmed that the housebuilder is in a strong position to capitalise on a housing market that’s on fire in the UK, helped by strong demand following a transition to the new Help to Buy scheme.”

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