Hallam have had a very good start to the year concluding the sale of eight sites for 960 houses in the period to the end of June 2017. Furthermore we exchanged two contracts for the disposal of 416 housing plots for completion in the second half of the year, and three further sites that were at an advanced stage of negotiation, totalling 592 housing plots, have since completed.
At 30 June 2017, Hallam held interests in 169 sites, equating to 12,131 acres, of which 1,766 acres are owned, 2,679 acres are under option and 7,686 acres are under planning promotion agreements, up from 11,416 at this stage in 2016. It was pleasing to win planning permission for 2,675 plots during the period and at 30 June 2017 we had 17,987 plots for sale across 53 sites, with a further 9,706 plots the subject of planning applications in progress, across 27 sites.
Housebuilders continue to report very positively regarding their UK activities, despite a slowing down of house sales in the wider market, with the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme supporting the new homes market. We continue to see good levels of demand for our consented portfolio as we bring these sites to the market and the recent general election outcome does not seem to have affected house builders’ interest. Nevertheless, it seems likely that one outcome of the election result will be a period of stability in the planning system with all parties seeing housebuilding as important to the wider economy, with little appetite to make significant legislative changes.
We look forward to the second half of 2017 with confidence and given that the substantial majority of our business for this year is now at an advanced stage of completion, we are able to look to the future where we have already exchanged four sale contracts that will complete in 2018, and are in advanced discussions with housebuilders on a further six.