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Pre-referendum dip in sales of new homes in Devon was followed by Brexit vote bounce-back

Sales of new homes in Devon slowed significantly last summer as cautious homebuyers awaited the outcome of the EU referendum, according to the Torquay-based Cavanna Homes.

In the three weeks proceeding the Brexit vote on June 23rd 2016, sales of Cavanna Homes’ properties in locations across Devon fell to below previous June figures but bounced-back during the second week of July.

Despite the June slowdown, pre-audited year-end figures released by the company show a 5.5% increase in turnover, from £51million in 2015 to £53.8million in 2016.

A total of 211 new homes were sold in Cavanna’s village, town and city developments in Devon last year, including 203 open market homes and eight affordable homes for rent or shared ownership through housing associations.

Cavanna Homes Executive Chairman Jeremy Cavanna said: “June is normally a steady time for sales but last year homebuyers were cautious, choosing to wait until they knew the outcome of the referendum before making their decision to buy a new home.

“It was the same story right across Britain, with sales of new-build homes slowing but then rising to well above previous July sales, indicating that despite the uncertainty around Brexit, people are still committing to a large long-term purchase.

“In the second half of 2016 the second-hand market slowed-down but sales of new homes remained buoyant, probably due to the government announcement in September that the Help to Buy Scheme will continue, for new homes only, until 2020,” added Mr Cavanna.

Cavanna Homes employs 115 staff from its Torquay headquarters with 250 contractors working on eleven sites across Devon, all at different stages of development. They include 504K and The Boatyard in Plymouth, Fusion in Paignton, The Pines in Torquay, Palstone Meadow in South Brent, Offshore at Stoke Fleming, Origins in Dartington, Greenspire and Rockbeare Briar near Exeter, Horizon at Budleigh Salterton and Market Quarter at Holsworthy.     In 2016, Cavanna Homes received the Home Builders Federation (HBF) 5-star award for the fourth consecutive year. The prestigious five stars mean that at least 90 per cent of new Cavanna homeowners would recommend Cavanna Homes to a friend of family member.

Mr Cavanna said: “We are very pleased to be one of only 14 homebuilders nationwide to have received the HBF 5-star award and one of only eight to have maintained this level for four years running.

“Rather than resting on our laurels, we see this accolade as raising the benchmark. We continue to focus on improving our product and our service and strive to find the best locations for new developments, primarily in Devon and always within two hours of our Torquay headquarters so our senior team can be directly involved in all projects.

“With a healthy start to sales of new homes nationally in the first two weeks of 2017, we will look forward to another year of steady growth but, like many other businesses, we remain cautious about the effect of Brexit on the economy and, in turn, on the housing market. That said, it’s unlikely the Bank of England will rush to put up interest rates and we can be fairly confident that there will continue to be a healthy market for new homes because there is still a nationwide shortage of housing.”