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Cala claims house price top spot

Cala Group has claimed to have the highest average selling price of any listed housebuilder in its latest results.

Figures for its financial year to 30 June 2012 showed an average selling price of £339,000, up from £328,000 last year, with house prices doing best in the South-east and Scotland.

Private housing completions increased to 875, against 649 for the previous year, and forward sales as of 30 June stood at 160 homes, against 147 at the same point in 2011.

Cala said its landbank now comprised more than 9,000 plots with a potential value of £2.8bn, equivalent to approximately 8.5 years’ output on current projections.

The company’s debt was down from £116m in 2011 to around £105m.

Chief executive Alan Brown said: “We currently have the highest average selling price of any housebuilder in the top 20 by volume, making us the most upmarket in the sector, yet we still achieved a 23 per cent increase in our sales rate over the period reflecting our premium product offering and the quality of our locations.”

But Mr Brown was critical of lenders’ role in the NewBuy scheme, launched by the government, lenders and builders to stimulate demand for new homes.

“We are confident that NewBuy is providing first time buyers with an opportunity to get on to the property ladder at a time when other mortgage products simply don’t enable them to do so,” he said.

“However, lenders must be more realistic in the rates they offer if it is ever going to deliver on its volume potential.”

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