Meeting and beating the pandemic challenge

 

Vistry at work

Vistry at work

 

Bouncing back and building back better are slogans that have been bandied about a lot in recent months. Both are easy to say but perhaps more difficult to achieve.

 

However, construction and regeneration specialists Vistry Partnerships North East and its housebuilding division, Linden Homes, are doing both from the headquarters on Newcastle Great Park.

 

Despite all of the restrictions and constrictions of Covid 19, the business has managed to drive productivity back to pre-pandemic levels, while all safe working practices are being observed across 14 live sites.

 

Particularly encouraging is a buoyant sales market which, despite the restrictions imposed by the first lockdown, has seen around 25% more homes sold between April and October than during the same six month period last year.

 

Even the announcement of as second national lockdown this month (November) has not dented confidence, particularly after housing secretary Robert Jenrick declared; “The housing market will remain open during this period.”

 

Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry Partnerships in the region, said: “It is business as usual for us. Construction will continue and our show homes and sales offices will safely welcome visitors as people seek to make a move before the stamp duty holiday and the current Help to Buy equity loan scheme end, next March. With solicitors and estate agents all continuing to work, we see no reason why sales won’t continue to be strong.

 

“Over the last 12 months we have managed to acquire good quality sites for both private housing development and those we create for our housing provider partners. Our expertise and relationships are enabling us to be the regional leader in developing sites with homes of all tenures – for private sale, shared ownership, private rent and affordable rent.
“Currently we are working on the only two new build developments of this type in the region – at Kirkleatham Green, near Redcar and Bracken Grange in Middlesbrough – projects with a combined gross development value of £120 million, which will deliver 725 homes.

 

“This model of operating, as a private housebuilder and also a contractor for our partners reduces our risk exposure as different parts of the business operate in a counter cyclical way. By ensuring we have a balance of market sale and partnership work, the order book is more resilient to changing market conditions – providing something of a cushion against these turbulent times.

 

“As a result, we have achieved significant growth in recent years and anticipate turning over more than £100 million next year, showing a significant increase in profit. We will also complete 700 new homes – 60% more than three or four years ago – all against the backdrop of Covid-19 and some of the most challenging times in recent memory.

 

“Having achieved five star housebuilder status, demonstrating fantastic levels of customer satisfaction, the Linden Homes brand is well established in the North East and so now, we are also planning to bring the Bovis brand to the region in due course.

 

“Credit must go to the entire team here. We have seen strong performance across our build, commercial, sales and finance functions, enabling us to deliver on our growth strategy and see year on year improved performance and output. To have strengthened our business and continued to deliver new homes throughout this pandemic has required a huge amount of ingenuity, creativity and commitment, all of which stand us in good stead for the future.”

 

For more information, please email: paul@persuasion-pr.com