Residential housing strong: Stockland

The residential housing market remains strong, with owner-occupiers representing more than three quarters of buyers, property developer Stockland says.

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Stockland says its residential business generated a high number of sales in the three months to March, with net deposits of 1,706 for the quarter.

New projects and new townhouses added 279 sales in the quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.

Of the buyers, 77 per cent were owner occupiers.

Chief executive Mark Steinert said owner occupiers and first home buyers continue to be the focus of bank lending activity.

“Given undersupply in all the key metropolitan markets, combined with supportive interest rates, employment growth and population growth, we’re confident in the ongoing sustainability of this segment of the market,” he said.

“We’ve seen continued strong market conditions in NSW and Victoria, although price growth has moderated as we’ve been anticipating.”

Mr Steinert said the Queensland market continued to strengthen, and the Western Australian market was improving.

Stockland said its residential business was on track to achieve settlements for the full financial year slightly above its target range of 5,000 to 6,000 lots.

The company has reaffirmed its full year earnings guidance after all its core businesses reported positive results in the March quarter.

It expects to achieve full year underlying earnings per share growth of 6.5 to 7.5 per cent, and a distribution of 24.5 cents a security.

“I’m very pleased that once again, we’re in a position to report continued strong performance across the whole business,” Mr Steinert said.

Stockland said retail sales in its portfolio remained strong.

Leasing momentum and occupancy levels were good across the group’s retail, logistics and business parks, and office portfolios, it said.

The company is still pursuing a partner to grow its retirement living business, with a range of discussions ongoing but likely to take the full course of the year to determine.

Stockland securities gained one cent to $4.32.