Housebuilder Swan Hill said this week that it has been affected by a slowdown in the market.
It is one of the first companies in the sector to make such an admission

Swan Hill chairman George Duncan said that although the focus on housebuilding in southern England had boosted year-end results, there were signs that core markets were softening.

He said: “There is some evidence that activity in our areas of operation is slowing, with buyers becoming more cautious.”

Duncan added that it was too early to judge the impact of the slowdown on the rest of the year, but said the continued low interest rates and a shortage of new homes ought to maintain demand.

The company posted a 20% rise in pre-tax profit, from £4.9m in the year ending 31 December 2001 to £5.9m in 2002.

Group turnover rose 50% from £50.6m to £75.7m in the same period.

Swan Hill estimated that potential sales from housing currently on site were expected to be in excess of £175m.