Countryside Properties is looking beyond traditional markets and outside of London, as a slow market in the capital and political uncertainty push housebuilders to diversify.

The company increased revenues by 27 per cent by ramping up construction of affordable housing and rental properties, it announced in its results for the six months to 31 March. 

The housebuilder built 2,362 homes in the period, a 43 per cent increase on the same period a year prior, it said on Thursday. Revenues for the half year increased to £507m.

The results represented “good performance against a period where market conditions have been variable”, said analysts at Numis.

Growth has come from diversification, with the number of affordable homes completed in the period up 80 per cent year on year thanks in part to the acquisition of Midlands-based affordable home builder Westleigh in November last year. 

Countryside built 608 homes for the private rented sector, an increase of 68 per cent. 

With the private sales market slowing down in London and the south east and Brexit weighing on the market, a number of housebuilders have turned to partnerships as a way to sell homes before they are built and reduce risk on the balance sheet. 

Crest Nicholson is partnering with M&G to deliver private rented accommodation and with a number of housing associations to provide more affordable housing, it announced in a trading update on Wednesday. 

Such partnerships ensure a number of properties are sold prior to completion but typically at lower sales prices, which can eat into profit margins. 

Countryside’s adjusted operating margin fell 130 basis points to 15.9 per cent year on year, with adjusted operating profit increasing 11 per cent to £89.4m. Both figures were adjusted to reflect costs associated with the Westleigh acquisition. 

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