Could you explain the strategic logic behind the recent expansion of your housebuilding activity and can we expect more of it in the future?
Inland Homes is all about extracting maximum value from its well-located land bank. Our strategy of acquiring brownfield sites at the pre-planning stage and its long track record of planning success, positions the Group as a housebuilder with exceptional skills in large scale brownfield development. Now that market conditions in the sector have returned to normal it makes sense for us to secure the additional development margin that can be achieved through the housebuilding process. The Group is intending to increase its housebuilding activities with the short term objective of building approximately 500 units per annum.
Inland Homes' land bank currently stands at 3,734 plots. What's your target, in both the short and medium term Is the end game for Inland to grow the landbank to a size that makes the Company a takeover target for a bigger, national housebuilder?
The Group's target is to have a land bank of approximately 5,000 plots within the next 12 months. The Group is now firing on all cylinders. We have some fantastic development opportunities in the land bank and other housebuilders would naturally be interested in our activities. We are not expecting to be taken over in the foreseeable future.
How much more value are you likely to extract from Drayton Garden Village? And when do you expect to fully complete and exit the project?
With our current housebuilding phase we expect to extract 2.8p per share (net of tax), however with the prospect of a large forward sale of over 200 apartments for private rented, we could extract up to 5.0p per share (net of tax) from this development.
Which of your projects do you expect to be the primary cash generators in the current financial year?
There are a number of projects that will generate cash in the current financial year. The notable ones are expected to be Woolwich, Drayton Garden Village and our West Plaza development in Ashford, Middlesex.
What role do you feel the private rented sector has to play in solving the nation's housing shortage? Is this an area that Inland Homes is exploring?
With affordability becoming a big issue in the south east the private rented sector should play a big part in creating new opportunities for people to rent good quality housing with perhaps more certainty of tenure.
What does next year's general election, and a potential change of Government, mean for the housebuilding industry?
All the political parties have now woken up to the importance of supporting increased housebuilding. My personal 'worst nightmare' would be a Lib-Dem/Labour coalition led by Vince Cable!