St Modwen says property market is recovering

Grant Prior 14 years ago

St. Modwen confirmed a continuing improvement in the property sector as the regeneration specialist announced a return to profit today and progress on a series of schemes in the development pipeline.

The developer said improvement in the housing market was leading the way as it confirmed it would restart paying dividends to shareholders as pre-tax profit for the six months to May hit £26.7m compared to a £98.3m loss last year.

The company said:  “Since the turn of the year, real estate investor appetite has been gradually returning, resulting in a reversal of some of the significant negative valuations that we experienced during the downturn.

“Similarly, the increasing level of housebuilding activity has begun to work its way into improving demand for (and values of) residential land.”

St Modwen is buying land again and has paid £36m to acquire 167 developable acres this year including a vehicle component factory in Hednesford which completes the site assembly for a £50m town centre redevelopment, for which planning should be granted this summer.

Other schemes in the pipeline for future development include:

–     Planning consent for 500 residential homes, 300 holiday homes and 1m sq ft of employment uses at Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, a former MoD site purchased in 2004.

–     Construction has started on Etrop Court, a 48,000 sq ft office complex in Wythenshawe, pre-let to Manchester City Council, which will act as an important catalyst to the wider regeneration of the town centre.

–  Planning applications have been submitted for the redevelopment of two former MoD sites totalling 191 acres at Uxbridge and Mill Hill in the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Barnet. The plans include proposals for: 3,550 new homes, including affordable housing; 250,000 sq ft of mixed-use commercial development; a new 1,200-seat theatre; warden-assisted elderly accommodation; GP surgeries; primary schools; and a hotel.

–     The Bay Science and Innovation Campus for the University of Swansea, which, subject to funding and planning, will be built on the Crymlyn Burrows site near Swansea.

–     Other important planning applications include:

Hednesford – an 85,000 sq ft foodstore, pre-sold to Tesco, plus 35,000 sq ft of additional retail; and

Sunderland –  250 residential units on a 17 acre former glassworks site, acquired in 2008/9

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