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Countrywide awaits second housing boost

COUNTRYWIDE is anticipating another boost from the government’s Help to Buy scheme when the second phase comes into force next year, the UK’s largest estate agency said yesterday, as it posted a jump in half-year profits.

Countrywide’s core business is in second hand home sales, which is not covered by the first part of Help to Buy that launched in April which offers loans to people buying newly built homes. The second part of the scheme that will offer mortgage guarantees on all house purchases worth up to £600,000 will launch early next year.

Chief executive Glenville Turner said: "The government initiatives will apply to our core market from the start of January 2014 and are expected to lead to increased activity although it is too early to judge the exact impact at this stage."

Delivering its maiden results since its return to the market in March, Countrywide said profits were up four per cent to £258.8m in the six months to 30 June while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 35 per cent to £26.4m.

The group said its pipeline of agreed sales was already eight per cent up on June last year, in a sign of a pick-up in activity in the housing market.

Its fast-growing lettings business posted an 18 per cent jump in profits to £53.4m, which Turner attributed to a booming rental market.

Kasmira Jefford
by Kasmira Jefford
August 2, 2013, 1:43am

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