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Crest Nicholson's stock tanks on rising costs

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson's shares tumbled more than 13% after warning its operating margin has been squeezed by rising building costs.
Crest's announcement, in a trading update ahead of its full half-year results statement, pulled down the market value of other house builders.
Persimmon, Barratt, Berkeley and Taylor Wimpey all slipped more than 1% amid concerns the housing market was cooling.The FTSE 250 company, which builds homes primarily in London and the South East, had expected operating margins of 18-20%."The experience of generally flat pricing against a backdrop of continuing build cost inflation at 3-4% will mean that operating margins for the full year are expected to be around 18%," the company said.Homes priced at more than €1m are proving more difficult to shift because of a slow second-hand market, the company said.
Chief executive Patrick Bergin said: "Flat pricing has had a negative impact on margins, but volumes in the new build housing market continue to be robust."Crest said average selling prices of its properties rose 5% to €439,000 in the first half of its current fiscal year and this is "expected to represent a peak level for the business".
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