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Woodford defends bet on UK housebuilders

Woodford-Neil-2014.jpgWoodford has defended his recent bet on UK housebuilders arguing the country hasn’t built enough houses to meet demand since 1990.

The star fund manager has shirked housebuilders for most of the last 15 years due to a lack of confidence in the outlook for UK growth and concerns about house valuations.

But in the lead up to the UK election, in which Woodford thought the Conservatives would win a large majority, he launched a contrarian bet on the UK economy.

Alongside a stake in Lloyds, Woodford added Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey and student accommodation developer, Watkin Jones, construction materials businesses Eurocell and Topps Tiles, real estate businesses British Land, Hansteen, Londonmetric and Sirius Real Estate.

Neil Woodford: The investment reality of Brexit and Trump

Woodford points out that Labour and the Conservatives both identified housing as a key campaigning topic in the general election, adding that the government has facilitated housebuilders’ cash-generative expansion through policies to build more new homes and make it easier for first-time-buyers to get on the property ladder.

Last week, Neptune UK Mid Cap fund Mark Martin warned equity income funds were “doubling” the bets of their investors, who are often wealthy homeowners, by buying into UK housebuilders in their search for yield.

Martin cautions that political tailwinds could become headwinds if housebuilders’ chief executives continue to line their pockets and the pockets of their shareholders rather than reinvesting that money back into building homes.



£60m housebuilding fund to be established with stamp duty revenue

The government has set up an annual £60m fund to help communities “affected by second-home ownership” using revenue accumulated from stamp duty hikes. The fund will be allocated to almost 150 councils over five years to assist them in providing affordable housing for first-time buyers in areas of high demand. Almost £20m is to be […]

L&G to acquire stake in housebuilder

Legal & General has agreed a deal to acquire a stake in national housebuilder Cala Group from Lloyds Banking Group in what will be the first acquisition of its kind for the insurer. L&G will acquire a joint 46.5 per cent equity stake in Cala with private equity group Patron Capital Partners. Cala’s existing management […]

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Guide: Johnson Fleming produces auto-enrolment checklist

For a job as big as managing the auto-enrolment changes, it’s important to know what has been completed and what still lies in front of you to give you the reassurance that everything is in hand. Getting the planning and project management right at the outset can help you see the path ahead and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. To help with this, Johnson Fleming has produced a checklist outlining every step that needs to be taken when preparing for auto-enrolment.


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