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Leading UK property business expects subdued outlook

The company said it had made £79.5 million pounds of sales in the four months to the end of July, and had a further £40.5 million worth in solicitors' hands or exchanged. This took Grainger's total sales pipeline for the year to £189.2 million from £154.8 million a year ago.

‘The resilience and liquidity of our portfolio continue to be evidenced by strong sales in excess of valuation, despite ongoing challenges in the residential market,’ the company said in its latest interim management statement.
However, it said the UK economy continued to be subdued and anticipated this would continue in the medium term and would be reflected in the UK residential market.

‘The challenges in the market are evidenced by low levels of sales and mortgage approvals but regional variations continue to be apparent with London house prices demonstrating the most buoyancy,’ Grainger said.

In the ten months to the end of July, Grainger completed sales of 531 vacant housing units for £94.3 million at an estimated trading margin on sales of 39.7%. A year ago it sold 597 units for £90.1 million at a margin of 42.7%.
In May, Grainger said it had been selected by Lloyds Banking Group to supply its residential housing platform. Grainger said it had made ‘good progress’ with integrating the first three Lloyds housing portfolios under the companies' RAMP agreement, and now had 1,283 units under management.
Grainger said it was confident its portfolio would continue to outperform in a slow market for home sales, and planned to return some cash from its improved first half profits to shareholders.