Sluggish sales in the third quarter will lead to lower than expected sales for Bovis Homes in 2004.

Bovis Homes has warned that its 2004 sales could be lower than expected due to a slow down in the housing market.

The group said interest rate rises were to blame for a slowdown in sales reservations between July and October this year.

Bovis chief executive Malcolm Harris said: “Sales reservations achieved by the group from July to October have slowed as the housing market has moderated in response to interest rate rises.”

Despite the slowdown Bovis said that the fundamentals of the housing market remained sound and it said that it was confident of delivering a “good set of results” this year.

It said that average sales prices and margins were in line with expectations and that legal completions would be higher than last year because of a strong first six months of the year.

It said legal completions for the year would actually be higher than 2003 because of the strong performance of the housing market in the first six months of the year.