While some of the housing sector’s major players have fallen over the past month, my faith in the robustness of the industry has remained undimmed thanks to the colossal supply and demand chasm that threatens to persist long into the future.
My bullish take was given further fuel by the latest trading details from FTSE 250 builder Crest Nicholson (LSE: CRST). The company advised today that revenues rose 3% during November-April, to £419.7m, while pre-tax profits advanced 5% to £76.2m. And the business believes the market remains favourable looking down the line.
Chief executive Stephen Stone commented that while “the outcome of the UK General Election may introduce some uncertainty in the short term… we expect the new build housing market to remain robust. Strong levels of employment, low interest rates and good mortgage access – including through the Help to Buy Scheme – should all contribute to a sustainable new build housing market.“
Safe as houses
Undoubtedly the seismic home price growth of yesteryear is well and truly over. But supportive lending policies are helping to keep property sales ticking over.
Indeed, Crest Nicholson’s forward sales as of mid-June stood at £540.4m, up 4% from a year ago. And the company retains its bullish medium-term growth targets, the Chertsey constructor seeking to build 4,000 homes per year by 2019 and to rack up £1.4bn worth of sales.
This bubbly outlook has prompted Crest Nicholson to hike the interim dividend 23% from the same period last year, the firm shelling out an 11.2p per share reward versus 2016’s 9.1p corresponding payment.
With government inertia to address the country’s yawning homes shortage also expected to persist, the City expects Crest Nicholson to keep delivering eye-popping shareholder returns.
Supported by an expected 8% earnings rise in the year to October 2017, Crest Nicholson is expected to pay a total dividend of 34.2p per share, up from 27.6p last year and yielding an excellent 5.9%.
And the good news does not end here, a 12% earnings rise predicted next year anticipated to feed through to a 38p dividend. This estimate yields a staggering 6.5%.
I reckon Crest Nicholson is in great shape to deliver stunning yields for some time yet.
Bet on beautiful returns
Financial giant IG Group (LSE: IGG) is another FTSE 250 stock expected to produce market-mashing dividends for some time yet.
In the year to May 2018, IG Group is expected to endure an 11% earnings fall, but this is not expected to axe its progressive payout strategy. Indeed, a forecast 32.6p per share reward for last year is anticipated to rise to 33.7p for the present period, resulting in a 5.8% yield.
Looking further out, an estimated 7% bottom-line recovery should help nudge the dividend to 33.9p in fiscal 2019, say City analysts, locking the yield at present levels.
While the FCA’s probe into the UK leveraged trading market creates some long-term earnings uncertainty, I believe IG Group remains attractively valued in spite of any regulatory changes in the UK. And I think the industry shake-up could well improve the company’s market position in the long term.
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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. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.