Developer in confident mood, having achieved a record £400m in forward sales

Developer Crest Nicholson has predicted a 15% increase in its open market and affordable housing completions over the next year.

In a trading update issued today, the developer said its forward sales currently stand at more than £400m, a record high. The company said that although interest rate increases could moderate house price inflation in 2007, a shortage of housing supply meant the market remained strong in its key regions - southern England and the Midlands.

Stephen Stone, chief executive, said: “Our business Improvement Initiative has helped to put a sharper commercial edge on our business and we expect it to underpin improvements in our operations. This, coupled with our market position in both urban regeneration and traditional housebuilding and the quality of our land banks, offers excellent prospects for future growth and increased value.”

The developer said that its trading for the full year 2006 has been in line with expectations, including a 22% increase in housing completions.