The yawning gap between housing supply and homebuyer demand convinces me that housing industry giant Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) should remain an exceptional income stock long into the future.
Much has been made of the possible impact of Brexit on house-buyer appetite since June’s referendum, with many still predicting that fears of moderating economic growth would yank house prices sharply lower.
However, these predictions have not yet come true. One reason for this is that lending criteria from British banks has remained supportive enough to ensure demand continues to outstrip the number of properties coming onto the market, whether generated by new-build projects or listed from existing homeowners.
Barratt itself noted last month that sales of its own homesteads continue to leap higher. Total forward sales, including joint ventures, stood at a record £3.01bn as of February 19, the builder advised. And net private reservations per active outlet clocked in at 0.77 per week during July-September, up from 0.76 a year earlier.
The City certainly foresees no imminent collapse in the UK housing market, and thus expect earnings at Barratt to keep moving higher. Growth of 1% and 2% is forecast for the periods to June 2017 and 2018 respectively.
This is something of a comedown from the double-digit rises of recent years. Still, this is not expected to take the shine off Barratt’s reputation as a provider of market-beating dividends, with the company expected to pay dividends of 37.6p per share this year and 38.1p in fiscal 2018.
These figures yield 6.9% and 7%, obliterating the FTSE 100 forward average of 3.5%.
Pub operator Marston’s (LSE: MARS) has also defied predictions of a sharp cool-down in revenues as Brexit becomes a reality.
Instead, Britons continue to spend plenty on eating out and socialising, and latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed households spent £45 or more on restaurants and hotels per week during the 12 months to March 2016. This is the first time it had breached this level for five years.
And footfall at Marston’s continues to benefit from this trend. The company saw total like-for-like sales at its Destination and Premium sites rising 1.5% during the 16 weeks to January 21, with underlying Christmas sales rising for the fifth successive year in spite of tough comparatives.
So, supported by predictions of a modest 1% earnings uptick in the period to September 2017, City analysts expect it to raise the dividend to 7.5p per share, a projection that yields an excellent 5.6%.
And the good news does not stop there, an anticipated 7. 9p reward in fiscal 2018 driving the yield to a lip-smacking 5.9%.
As the pub expansion programme over at Marston’s clicks through the gears — the firm plans to 25 new pub-restaurants and lodges in 2017 alone, taking its total within a whisker of 1,600 — I expect dividends to get ever-chunkier in the years ahead.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.