Our history - Pioneers in housebuilding since the 1970s
McCarthy Stone is the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities. We have been pioneers in this field since the 1970s and our name is now synonymous with retirement at its most rewarding
1960s and 1970s
John McCarthy and Bill Stone enter into partnership in 1963 and the McCarthy Stone story begins. Early work focuses on building houses and bungalows for the open market.
John McCarthy and Bill Stone pioneer the concept of private retirement housing, building Waverley House in New Milton. The development sells out off-plan. All other building work stops and activity focuses on this sector. Growth from this point is rapid.
McCarthy Stone is admitted to the Unlisted Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange. By this time, it has completed 15 retirement developments and is selling approximately 200 units per annum. The Group achieves a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1984.
Homedale House goes on sale, McCarthy Stone’s 24th retirement development. Prices start at £19,950. The Company makes its 1,000th apartment sale to Mrs Pope at Homepoint House in Southampton.
McCarthy Stone’s first TV advert is aired. Filmed at Alexandra Palace in North London, it looks at the challenges of later living and the benefits of retirement housing. The Company opens its 100th development and has six regional offices covering all areas of the UK.
Annual sales reach 2,596 units a year due to increasing demand for retirement housing and the ageing population. HRH Princess Diana opens the Company’s new headquarters in Bournemouth.
The Company looks to new horizons, opening its first nursing home developments and launching an international division, building in Ireland, Spain, France and Norway. During the 1980s, more than 11,000 apartments are built and sold.
McCarthy Stone is voted the Best Retirement Housebuilder of the Year by the Daily Express, winning 12 Certificates of Merit.
The Company is voted the Best Housebuilder of the Year by the Daily Express for the third year running. 20 new retirement developments are underway as part of a multi-million pound development programme. This includes the recently opened ‘The Brendons’ development in Worcestershire, where prices start at £55,000.
The Company’s share of the retirement housing market goes over 70% and the new corporate plan is to be ‘the natural choice in retirement homes’. The Company is again voted the Best Retirement Housebuilder of the Year by the Daily Express, which makes it eight years in a row for this award.
The market for retirement housing is strong after the recession and demand for McCarthy Stone’s products continues. Average selling prices touch £70,000.
Deans Mill Court in Canterbury wins the Green Leaf Award, the housing industry’s top environmental honour. The Company is voted Housebuilder of the Year in the Building Awards.
The Company sees success again at the Housebuilder of the Year Awards, winning nine of the 11 categories as well as Gold in the 1,500+ units category. The first Retirement Living Plus (formerly known as Assisted Living) development is launched at Saxon Court in Bicester.
Pre-tax profits hit £116m and McCarthy & Stone is again voted Best National Housebuilder in the Daily Express Awards. The Company publishes new research into the benefits of and need for retirement housing, called A Better Life, Private Sheltered Housing and Independent Living, which notes that 64% of McCarthy Stone homeowners report improved well-being after moving.
McCarthy Stone wins the full ‘Five Star’ award in the HBF’s first customer satisfaction survey, and has the highest satisfaction score of any housebuilder. The Company’s nine regional offices complete 2,119 sales, its most since 1988, including selling out Kirk Manor Court in Cults in four hours. In a major year for the Company, it is de-listed from the London Stock Exchange for £1.1bn by a consortium led by Halifax Bank of Scotland.
McCarthy Stone brings management of its developments back in-house, establishing McCarthy Stone Management Services and YourLife Management Services. One of its first managed developments is at Cherrett Court in Dorset. c15,000 units are sold during the 2000s.
The Company completes its 1,000th development at Burgess Hill, East Sussex. It successfully refinances under new ownership and a new management team is appointed.
Queen Elizabeth Court in Kirkby Lonsdale is named the Retirement Development of the Year in the UK Property Awards. McCarthy Stone’s new product range, Lifestyle Living (formerly known as Ortus Homes), is launched to appeal to a wider group of retirees.
McCarthy Stone again wins the full Five Star rating in the HBF’s customer satisfaction survey, making it the only housebuilder, of any size or type, to win it for ten years in a row. Scarlet Oak in Solihull, the first Lifestyle Living (formerly known as Ortus Homes) scheme, is crowned ‘Best Retirement Scheme’ at the Housebuilder Awards 2015, and the Company rejoins the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
McCarthy Stone kicks off the year in style by announcing its 50,000th apartment sale to Marjorie Crawford at Lyle Court in Edinburgh. Marjorie said “I’ve lived in the area for most of my life and followed the progress of the development from the beginning. It was the right time to downsize and Lyle Court just felt right.” The same development then wins Best Retirement Scheme at the 2016 Housebuilder Awards.
Employees mark the Company’s 40th year by raising £260k for their charity of the year, the Royal Voluntary Service. A series of events take place across McCarthy Stone’s offices and developments to mark the anniversary of the opening of the Company’s first development in New Milton, Hampshire, in 1977, when it pioneered retirement living in the UK and created a new sector of the property market.
The Company again wins the full Five Star rating in the HBF’s customer satisfaction survey, making it 13 years in a row. A new strategy is announced in September 2018, led by John Tonkiss, the Company’s new CEO. It is based on the Company’s purpose of creating retirement communities that enrich the quality of life for its customers and their families, with the long term vision of deepening its relationship with its customers. More information on the new strategy can be found here. Horizons, in Poole, is voted as the UK’s Best Retirement Development.
The Company’s new strategy develops well, including successful trials of its new multi tenure options including rental and shared ownership. YourLife Management Services is brought fully in-house and 2,301 properties are sold or rented across the financial year.