Andrew Wiseman, chief executive of Telford Homes, has reported a “positive shift in sentiment” in the east London housing market

Speaking as the company announced its half-year results to 30 September on Wednesday, Wiseman said: “There is a shortage of homes in the area and this, along with the continued strength in the lettings market, is underpinning an improvement in sentiment.”

He based his optimism on the increasing number of new sales over the six months. The company completed 224 open market homes compared to 119 in the same period last year.

Turnover at the housebuilder was £85.9m compared to £35.6m last year, which was the result of more properties coming to completion.

Pre-tax profit was £4.1m compared to a loss of £1m in the same period in 2008.

But the company said the restricted availability of mortgage finance was causing sales to fall through. Over the six-month period there were 57 such cases, with the company managing to sell on 44, producing a net loss of 13 sales.

Wiseman said the £6.3m in cash it had raised via the acquisition of Clifford Contracting in June meant it had a financial cushion that averted the need for a fire sale of such properties.

“It gives our lenders security too,” he added.

Full-year turnover will be heavily weighted towards the first half as a result.