Tony Pidgley, the charismatic founder and boss of Berkeley Group, is famous for calling the top of the housing market during the downturn.
Today, the London housebuilder holds its Annual General Meeting – and in a trading statement this morning, Pidgley said the market is “stabilising”:
Since the start of the current financial year, the market has reverted to normal transaction levels from the high point in 2013, providing a stable operating environment. Demand for the right product with good design in the best locations has remained resilient.
This follows a statement by newly-floated estate agent Foxtons last week, which suggested the London market is cooling. Stability seemed to be word of the day, with the statement also indicating no change to current earnings expectations:
With a strong balance sheet and land bank Berkeley is well positioned to continue to invest in the business and deliver returns to shareholders. Earnings this year are anticipated to be in line with current market expectations.
The company is also making progress on its stated aim of paying a dividend of 434p a share by September 2015, and a further 180p a share will be paid out to shareholders.