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Brokers: Countrywide IPO signifies a strengthening housing market

UK Residential Homes Houses London 480

Brokers say Countrywide’s initial public offering price of £750m reflects an increasingly healthy property market.

The group set the price of its IPO at 350p per share, representing the upper limit of the initial price range of 260 pence to 350 pence.

The issuance of the new shares is expected to generate gross proceeds of £200m.

Brokers say the decision to price the shares at the highest point in the range is indicative of a increasingly strong property market.

Brightstar chief executive Rob Jupp says: “It is a very real and evident sign of green grass rather than green shoots in the UK housing market. A decision like this from the largest property group in the UK shows yet another positive move in the market.”

Coreco founder Andrew Montlake agrees. He says: “The pricing is positive news for the market. The decision shows Countrywide is confident both in the quality of the business and the wider market.”

However Your Mortgage Decisions director Dominik Lipnicki says: “This is as much a reflection of an improving market as it is that Countrywide knows nothing will change in a year or two. Ambition is good but the pricing decision is surprising.”

The IPO marks the first time Countrywide has moved to become publicly listed since 2007 when it was bought by private equity group Apollo for £1.1bn.

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