Persimmon has forward sales of £950m for the second half of this year, up 8% from this time last year.

The housebuilder said it had increased its margins to more than 20.5%, compared with 19.9% last year.

It added that despite rising interest rates the new homes market had remained active, but competitive, this year.

Persimmon’s growth strategy has been surrounded by speculation since Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey announced a £5bn merger earlier this year.

Persimmon said: “We continue to consider every opportunity to grow while ensuring we invest where this is in the best interests of us and our shareholders.”