Bovis says house prices are on the up but warns of an uncertain year to come

BOVIS Homes said yesterday it had sold houses at prices slightly ahead of its expectations so far this year.

However, it warned the general election had created uncertainty in the housing market and that a recovery was too early to call.

Chief executive David Ritchie said: “We expect trading to continue to be stable, although the election does create uncertainty, in particular as regards the macro-economic backdrop. Notwithstanding this, we are selling homes in line with our targeted weekly sale rate and a continuation of this will allow the group to achieve its volume expectations for 2010.”

Total sales for the year rose 11 per cent to 1,208, of which 643 sales were brought forward from 2009 and 565 sales were achieved in the first 17 weeks of the year.

Bovis said profits for the year would be weighted to the second half given the completion date of the buildings which had been reserved.

House prices in Britain rose by one per cent for the second straight month in April, taking the annual rate of increase into double digits for the first time in nearly three years, according to figures from building society Nationwide.

Bovis said it has focused its strategy on investing in new land in order to generate “strong future returns.”

So far it has added 811 plots to its land bank in the year to date and agreed terms in principle on a further 18 sites which will provide around 2,500 plots.