Chairman David Wilson says that 2005 was 'the most challenging housing market for many years'.

Wilson Bowden has suffered a 14% drop in profit over the past year as a challenging housing market took its toll on housebuilding division David Wilson Homes.

Profit before tax dropped to £223.7m for the year ended 31 December 2005, compared with £259.2m the previous year. The group's preliminary results, released today, also show that revenue fell from £1282.3m to £1230.8m.

Wilson Bowden chairman David Wilson said that 2005 had been "the most challenging housing market for many years".

Wilson also announced the launch of a range of smaller one-bedroom affordable homes, with prices starting at £65,000. The range, to be known as I-Life by David Wilson Homes, follows similar moves by the likes of Redrow into the stronger market for smaller properties. This year, David Wilson Homes' average selling price was £198,200.