Talking about the last six months of 2009, Clare warned that although the market had improved it was still subject to ‘the major uncertainties’ of the general economic outlook, including mortgage finance.
Despite the upbeat tone of Mr Clare’s statement, his company still have debts to the value of £620 million. The reduction of the forecast debt of £700 million was largely brought about by the disposal of a £25 million property in Glasgow from their inherited Wilson Bowden Development portfolio.
There were completions on 5,028 properties in the six months under review, compared with 6,905 with the last six months of 2008. Social housing accounted for 647, that is 12.8%, of these completions, well down on the 908, 13.1%, in the same period last year.
The company are concentrating on purchasing land and in the past six months has agreed terms on £315 million worth, which they say equates to 7,730 plots. One wonders how many of these plots will be used for social housing.
Also today, the National Housing Federation welcomed the announcement by Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, to pledge £1.4bn to help bring empty homes back into use.
According to Liberal Democrats,this level of funding would bring an estimated 250,000 properties back into use and create 50,000 jobs.
The NHF tell us that
Waiting lists for affordable homes have hit record levels, and continue to grow during the recession as repossessions and unemployment further fuel demand. Millions of people are meanwhile living in cramped, overcrowded conditions, with little hope of getting the affordable home they desperately need.
So it’s no surprise that they welcome the LibDem proposals with welcome arms – but, let’s be honest, what are the realistic chances of the Liberal Democrats forming the next elected government?