An award-winning housebuilder has said it is delivering buoyant sales as househunters seek quality and space in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
East Yorkshire-based Beal Homes is in line with sales targets despite the disruption to the housing market caused by the virus.
Beal has achieved 97% of its forecasted sales in the year to date, with sales in August to October 16% ahead of the same period in 2019. Revenues and profits are also on track to be close to forecast for the full year.
The performance is driven by people seeking more space and flexibility, including to accommodate working from home.
This was reflected in the successful launch of Beal’s latest luxury development, Pilgrims Walk in Hessle, which saw househunters reserve more than half of the homes in the first release, worth a total of £3.15m.
Across all of Beal’s developments in Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, only four homes are now available to buy and move into by the end of the year, because sales have been so strong. As a result Beal is now releasing homes that will be available to move into in the last quarter of 2021.
Chief executive Richard Beal said: “Our sales performance has been strong for a considerable time and has been exceptional since the first lockdown, reflecting how people have reassessed what they want from their home.
“People have spent much more time in their homes over the past few months and many of them have decided they need more space and flexibility, including to accommodate working from home.
“That has fed through to demand for new homes and we’re finding the quality we’re well known for and the unique opportunity we offer for every buyer to personalise their home is proving extremely popular.
“Our performance also demonstrates that we were right to stay focused on delivering our developments and serving our customers during a very difficult period.
“While some of the national housebuilders shut down all their construction and sales operations for prolonged periods earlier this year we halted work on our building sites for a few weeks to review all our working practices and introduce a wide range of measures to allow us to resume work entirely safely.
“Our sales teams never stopped supporting customers, while working very differently and making full use of innovations such as 3D interactive virtual tours of our house types.”
Beal adopted a positive and proactive approach to the coronavirus outbreak, by launching the “Helping You Make Your Move” package of support to give homebuyers assistance and reassurance during a period of unprecedented uncertainty.
The housebuilder has also pulled out all the stops to overcome delays caused by the pandemic disruption to services around the housebuying process, including land searches and conveyancing issues, to enable sales to be completed and customers to move into their new homes.
Momentum has also been boosted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s introduction of a stamp duty holiday until next March.
Pre-booked appointments are now required for visits to all Beal’s marketing suites and show homes and also applied to the Pilgrims Walk launch held at Beal’s head office in Hessle, with strict social distancing and other Covid-secure measures to the fore.
Pilgrims Walk features 11 different house types, from the two-bedroom Tribeca, priced from £185,000, to the four-bedroom Canterbury home, from £435,000.
First-time buyers Sam Elliott and Sophie Cochrane (pictured above), who both currently live at home with their parents, were first to reserve a plot and can’t wait to move into their three-bedroom Dalton home next year.
Sophie said: “I don’t think it will sink in until we get the keys. We’ve heard such good things about Beal Homes and they give you so much choice. Our families live nearby, Hessle is close to Beverley and Hull, and we’re looking forward to being independent and living together.”
Retired couple Keith and Carol Grantley reserved a three bedroom Ripon bungalow and said living on one level while having additional space for family to visit was the key attraction.
Carol said: “I’ve been driving myself mad trying to find a bungalow. I’ve had both hips replaced, so I wanted to be living on one floor.
“When I found out about this plot, Beal arranged for us to have a look at a Ripon bungalow at their Bishop’s Green development in Welton, Lincolnshire, so we know what we’re buying.
“We wouldn’t have been able to make this decision without doing that. We’re really excited. I’m absolutely blown away with the quality of the show home interiors.”
Beal sales and marketing director Sue Waudby said: “The success of the Pilgrims Walk launch is consistent with the sales performance we’ve been recording for months.
“We’re continuing to serve our customers during this second lockdown, in line with the Government’s directive that the housing market should remain open, with all appointments pre-booked and strict Covid-secure procedures in place.
“We’ve had a relatively small number of cancellations caused by buyers very sadly losing their jobs or finding themselves in an uncertain financial position due to the pandemic, but those homes were immediately resold.
“Stock is running short because we’re selling properties so fast, but we do have a limited number of homes that are available now for househunters who want to move before the end of the year.
“We’re now releasing properties for occupation a year from now, but it’s important to stress that buying off plan from us has so many advantages. By reserving at pre-construction stage you can ensure your home is perfect for you in every way, even changing the internal layout to suit individual lifestyles and needs.”