PROFITS have plummeted at David Wilson Homes, which has launched a new range of 30 sq m homes to tempt firsttime buyers.
David Wilson sold 5,027 homes last year, 393 fewer than in 2004, and this dragged pretax profits down £46.6 million to £203.3 million.
Group chief executive Ian Robertson said: 'After a comparatively encouraging start to the year, customer confidence ebbed in the run-up to the general election and did not recover noticeably until very late in the year. In addition to the impact on visitor levels and reservations, pricing also came under pressure, mainly in increased incentives to customers.'
The average sale price fell to £198,200 from £206,000 due to continued weakness in northern England. Margins sagged to 19.7 per cent from 22.1 per cent.
With first-time buyers at a record low, the firm is building 500 'i-Life Homes' of between 28 sq m and 63 sq m with prices starting at £65,000.