Bovis Homes Predicts Pre-Tax Profits Of £51.3m After Selling More Homes

More good news for the housing sector was revealed on Friday as Bovis Homes told markets it had sold more homes for higher prices at the end of 2012, helping it to raise its pre-tax profit expectations to £51.3 million for 2012.

The Kent-based housing group said it had seen a 15% jump in completions last year, with its strategy of building family homes in the affluent south helping to push its average selling price up 5% to £170,700.

Bovis' operating margins were also improved, up to 13.5% from 10% the year before, thanks in part to building homes on land which had been acquired during the housing downturn.

The group bought 3,500 plots of land across 24 sites and managed to sell three of them in 2012.

"Bovis Homes encouraged the recent upbeat sentiment seen in the wider market," reflected Phil Wong, analyst at stockbroker Redmayne Bentley.

"The announcement comes as New Year confidence continues, and will be heartening for investors with the hope that the UK housing market follows the same recovery trend we have seen of late across the pond."

Bovis Homes will release its full-year 2012 results in late February, an announcement that will be closely watched in the hope for early signs that economic activity is on the up.

On Wednesday, Barratts said it had completed 5,085 units in the last six months of 2012 and secured private forward sales, excluding joint ventures, of £536.5m by the end of December, up 35.5% over the prior year.

And on Monday Taylor Wimpey revealed it had increased its average selling prices on its private completions by 6% to £197,000. Home completions also increased 7% to 10,886, of which 18 % were affordable housing.

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