Housebuilder is optimistic about UK sales but says US market is cooling.

Housebuilder Wimpey was in an optimistic mood at its annual general meeting today.

The company said that positive market trends witnessed at the beginning of 2006 had continued, and that in the UK Wimpey sales rates were above those of 2005.

Wimpey also said that price increases had returned in some locations, particularly in the south.

Fortunes were slightly poorer in the US, where sales levels in 2006 so far have been below those of the same period last year.

Referring to the US a statement from the company said: "Prices have remained at similar levels to those at the beginning of the year with the slower market conditions requiring a return to the use of incentives."

Housing analysts at Numis said: "Although we are now more optimistic about the outlook for the UK business, as the market in the US begins to cool, we need the improvement in the UK market to continue, before we can justify a higher valuation."