Western Australian housing price growth slowing: Stockland results

Zoe FieldingFebruary 15, 20150 min read

Residential property prices along the eastern seaboard will continue to grow for the next few years supported by strong population and employment growth, low interest rates and an undersupply in many housing sub-markets, Stockland Property Group chief executive Mark Steinert has predicted.

Stockland reported a 55.1% increase in statutory profit for the first half of 2015 compared with the prior corresponding period. The huge increase was largely due to revaluations of its commercial property assets, but underlying profit was also up by 8.5%, driven by a 73% improvement in its residential business.

“Growth [in the residential business] came not only from supportive market conditions but more particularly from launching new projects, activating our land bank and also improvements in [sales] volume, in particular in Victoria and Queensland,” Steinert said in announcing the half year result.

The company sold 22% more residential lots in the first half of 2015 than during the same period of 2014. It has entered the second half of the financial year with a record 3700 contracts on hand, up 550 compared with the previous six months.

“The Western Australian market is slowing – we’ve been talking about that for well over a year – but overall we expect, particularly on the eastern seaboard, an elongated residential cycle that will continue to show reasonable levels of growth for the next couple of years,” Steinart said,

Stockland’s residential division specialises in producing affordable low and medium density homes. More than 45% of its residential properties are sold to first home buyers.

The company plans to continue to boost profits in its residential division by developing more of its land reserves and buying additional development land adjoining or close to its successful projects to take advantage of brand awareness in the local markets.

Residential property makes up around 20% of Stockland’s business. Steinert said its other divisions had also performed well.

Underlying profit from the retail business was up 3.3%, logistics and business parks was up 5.7%, and office was up 7.8%. The retirement living business reported a 5.8% increase in operating profit.

The company tighten its guidance range from 6.5 to 7% earnings per security growth to 6.75 to 7% EPS growth for the full year. It forecast distributions would be maintained at 24c, assuming conditions remained reasonable. 

DISCLAIMER: Zoe Fielding owns shares in Stockland.

Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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