MJ Gleeson, the housebuilder and strategic land specialist, has said that its strong balance sheet enabled the payment of a special dividend of £7.9m in March 2010

But it added that although trading remained “stable”, a more sustained upturn in house sales relied on a further increase in mortgage availability and consumer confidence.

Between 1 January and 19 May, the group acquired a low-cost development site in the north of England and further land acquisitions are expected. Its cash position on 30 April was £12.4m.

It said private completions in its housebuilding and regeneration divisions were ahead of last year and that selling prices were “generally stable” with some sites showing improvement.

The company is understood to be in talks to sell its Powerminster facilities management business to Morgan Sindall’s affordable housing division, Lovell.