Good morning/afternoon, it's Paul here. I'm working the afternoon shift today, so this article will gradually update. Please refresh this page later.


I like to keep track of what housebuilding companies are saying about their market conditions, as this affects so many other areas of the economy. Today we have 3 of them reporting;

Redrow (LON:RDW) - Interim results - record profits of £185m, up 5% vs last year's H1.

Current trading sounds (perhaps surprisingly) good;

The market during the run up to the festive period and the first two weeks of 2019 was subdued by macroeconomic and political uncertainty. However, sales over the last three weeks have bounced-back with reservations running at similar levels to last year's strong market activity.

Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) - Interim results - profit before tax up 19.1% to £408m.

Current trading sounds fine too;

'Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading is in line with our expectations and we are confident of delivering a good financial and operational performance in FY19."

Grainger (LON:GRI) - Trading update - this is a residential property landlord, rather than a housebuilder. 

Everything sounds fine here too;

"It has been a good start to the financial year....
We achieved a 3.4% like-for-like rental growth on our PRS portfolio for the first four months of the year, which demonstrates the depth of customer demand, the quality of our offering, and the resilience of the sector...
We remain confident on the outlook for the year ahead.

Overall then in terms of the new build property, and residential rental markets, things sound to be ticking along just fine. This underpins my belief that the consumer is far more solid than many commentators seem to think. It also makes me increasingly annoyed at those in the media (and on twitter) who seem to want to talk the UK down at every opportunity.

Average incomes are rising nicely, and above inflation, and we have full employment. The daily scare stories about Brexit are becoming increasingly discredited - both sides have already made clear that they will prioritise the flow of goods at the borders, and won't allow trade to grind to a halt.

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