Prowting this week posted record results for the year to February – partly by charging more for slightly bigger houses.
Managing director Steve Rosier said the average price of houses, now 6% bigger than before, had risen from £123,700 to £150,000, but he added that this did not signify a dramatic shift up-market: "We don't have a certain house type that we will build. We look at the opportunities that are available to us each time and go from there." The housebuilder's pre-tax profit jumped 14% to £27.5m from £24.2m in the year to February 2000, on turnover up £26m to £244m. The group completed 1626 homes last year.

Rosier said he expected the average price to reach £170,000 next year. He added: "At the moment, we're building in areas with higher demand, which leads to higher prices." He said Prowting had 5025 plots with planning permission, 3.3 years' supply at current production levels. The group also has another 12,000 plots in its strategic landbank.

Rosier said he had taken advantage of a slight dip in prices last year to buy more land at an average price of of £36,000 a plot. This had led to an increase in company debt, which now stood at £38.7m.

At the moment, we’re building in areas with higher demand, which leads to higher prices

Steve Rosier, managing director