Property & Construction Daily

The Property & Construction Daily provides a sector-specific comment from leading analyst Alastair Stewart. His daily perspective provides a round-up of market statements, news, economics and views from the property and construction sectors.

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October 13, 2023

CRST | Economy – Private housebuilding drags down construction output | News – Unlucky number | Fortnight ahead

Company news

Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST, 170p, £438m mkt cap)

South East focused mixed tenure housebuilder. Directorate change. William Floydd appointed  Group Finance Director designate with effect from 13 November, succeeding Duncan Cooper, who is stepping down from his role as Group Finance Director as announced on 11 July 2023, following a short handover period. His most recent roles were as chief financial officer at Watches of Switzerland Group, Rank Group and Experian Group, UK and Ireland Region.

Economic data

Construction activity. Construction output volumes fell 0.5% M/M in August 2023; this follows an upwardly revised decrease of 0.4% in July, according to the ONS (from yesterday). The decrease in monthly output came solely from a 1.5% fall in new work, partially offset by a 1.0% increase in repair and maintenance. Five of the nine sectors saw a fall in the month; the main contributors were private commercial and private new housing, which decreased 4.1% and 1.4%, respectively. On a Y/Y basis, total output rose 1.7%, non-seasonally adjusted; new work fell 2.1% and R&M rose 7.8%. Total new housing fell 14.2%, with public housing up 8.1% and private down 16.6% – the worst decline since the 2020 lockdown. Next release, 10 November.

Construction output, August, y/y change NSA (%)

In other news …

Unlucky for all? Unless Rightmove statisticians have mistaken Friday the 13th with April 1st, the UK’s largest property portal has revealed that houses numbered 13 have the lowest average property value out of analysis of over 10 million properties numbered from one to 100. The highest valued house is number one, with a valuation of £393,690, versus £354,793 for number 13, a difference of 11%. The study of over 10 million homes found those numbered 13 are £5,333 lower than the average across the study of £360,126. With housebuilders possibly mindful of this, or just plain superstitious, there are almost double the number of houses numbered 14 than 13 across Great Britain, as many streets skip the unlucky number. (This is not as crazy as it seems: many skyscrapers in New York miss out a 13th floor.

Fortnight ahead

Construction & Property company and economic news

Prices are as at the previous day’s close. Where quoted, net debt is pre-IFRS16 (excluding leases) unless otherwise stated.

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