Berkeley races to build out all sites with planning

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
Share

London house builder Berkeley Group has ramped up house building activity, staring work on all its sites with planning approval.

Chairman Tony Pidgley said the firm had pressed the start button on 65 of its 77 sites, as it delivered a 40% rise in pre-tax profits to £380m in the year.

The firm is trying to drive the remainder through the planning process to meet demand after completing 3,742 new homes in the year at an average selling price of £423,000.

Berkeley’s move to increase building activity comes as the first signs emerge of cooling in the overheated London property market, after selling asking prices actually fell in the last month by 0.5%, according to property website Rightmove.

Pidgley said: “These are strong results which reflect the current market conditions and Berkeley’s bold strategy to invest at the right point in the economic and housing cycle.”

He said that Berkeley has invested an extra £353m in buying nine new sites in the year, sufficient to build a further 2,500 new homes.

Investment in work in progress soared to £1.18bn as the house builder speeded up construction to meet demand in the capital.

“Berkeley is building on all of its sites that have an implementable planning consent and we are employing over 11,000 people directly on our sites sustaining a further 10,000 jobs indirectly in the supply chain.

“This year we have completed some 30% more homes than at the peak of the market in 2007,” said Pidgley.

Berkeley reported widespread upward pressure on build costs and restricted availability of materials and skilled labour within the supply chain but said the impact had been broadly offset by house price increases.

Operating margins rose from 20.4% to 23.1% over the year.

The group’s pipeline of future land now comprises over 11,000 plots with a potential gross margin of some £1.5bn.

Nine new sites have been added to the pipeline in the year, including six in London at Southall, Kingston, Westminster, Hornsey, Battersea and Orpington and three outside London in Bracknell, Ockham and Sevenoaks.

The house builder said it aimed to release a further £122m to shareholders in September, putting it on track to meet the first milestone in its pledge to return over £1.7bn to shareholders by 2021.

Latest news

Interserve resurrects Tilbury Douglas name in rebrand

New Tilbury Douglas branded business targets £500m revenue this year
14 hours ago

Utility contractor Falco sold to staff

London contractor becomes the latest to be sold to Employee Ownership Trust
10 hours ago

Keltbray lands first major roads package

Specialist bags £14.1m bridges deal from Costain/Jacobs as it targets highways sector
10 hours ago

Lee Marley Brickwork launches Scottish scaffolding division

Industry veteran Billy Dolan to lead latest brickwork and scaffolding offering

Taylor Wimpey pledges £125m for cladding and fire safety retrofits

Pre-tax profit slumps two-thirds to £264m as margin halved to just over 10%
15 hours ago

Fusion21 names line-up for £1.1bn FM framework

Successful firms include BAM, Bouygues, Galliford Try and Eric Wright
15 hours ago

Major pharma HQ in London’s King’s Cross approved

Work could start on 220,000 sq ft research facility before the end of 2021
1 day ago

Union fears over plan to house site workers on cruise ships

2,000 builders could live on ships during construction of London Resort in Kent
1 day ago

Another ISG director joins Structure Tone

Justin Fahy joins former ISG colleagues as Commercial Director at fit-out specialist
15 hours ago

Stoke lines up Bowmer & Kirkland for new urban quarter

Goods Yard plan includes 180 homes, 150-bed hotel and workspace
1 day ago

£60m London Stratford student complex approved

Work to start later this year on 282-room student complex near the Olympic Park
15 hours ago

D-day for VAT plan cutting cash flow across construction

Reverse charge scheme is now active despite industry lobbying
2 days ago

Project SPEED aims to slash costs and halve time of rail upgrades

Rail minister urges industry to pioneer faster, smarter and more efficient projects.
2 days ago

Hinkley bosses halt plans to “deskill” electricians

Controversial plans to introduce a new grade of electrical operative put on hold
2 days ago

WWII bomb detonated in huge blast on Exeter project

Local contractor Urbn Construction uncovered 1,000kg bomb on £14m student hall job
2 days ago

Bidders day for £120m Tomatin to Moy A9 dualling

Most northerly section of £3bn A9 upgrade plan coming out to tender
2 days ago

Race starts for £60m Gloucester Kings Quarter Phase 2

Council hopes to start work by October
2 days ago

Caledonian Modular wins 20-storey Canary Wharf aparthotel

£74m 20-storey aparthotel project to be built at Wood Wharf
2 days ago

Structural steelwork firm buys crane plant

J & D Pierce to continue production at Konecranes East Kilbride site
2 days ago

Severfield buys fabricator Dam Structures in £27m deal

Acquisition allows Severfield to get involved earlier in the construction process
5 days ago

Contractors trial 3D smartphone ‘X-ray vision’ of buried services

New augmented reality visualisation prevents dangerous or time-consuming cable and pipeline strikes
5 days ago

Quartet wins £65m Natural Resources Wales deal

Alun Griffiths, Jones Bros Ruthin, Walters UK, William Hughes win spots on four-year framework
5 days ago

Self-employed worker numbers 13% down on pre-Covid level

Freelance wages in January still down on a year ago despite labour shortages
5 days ago

Graham starts £56m Nottingham PRS project

10 storey Queens Street project will provide 348 rental flats
5 days ago

HSE restores dissolved roofing firm ahead of £160k fine

Safety body acts after contractor folds between accident and court hearing
5 days ago

Hire boss leads plant thieves police chase

Nine police cars were involved in the pursuit of a stolen micro-excavator
5 days ago

French contractor lands Liverpool full-fibre hook-up

£30m Liverpool backhaul project will see 212km super-fast broadband network installed over two years
6 days ago

Morgan Sindall builds up cash despite 31% profit fall

Construction and Infrastructure division paying subcontractors in 27 days
6 days ago

Hinkley site hit by “deskilling” row over electricians

Rank-and-file electricians stage first demonstrations outside EDF offices
6 days ago

Go-ahead for London Broadgate twin towers

McAlpine is in line to build 37 and 22-storey towers at 2 Finsbury Avenue
6 days ago

Contractor services