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Oakdene cool on new starts

FINANCE

HOUSE builder Oakdene is holding back on starts due to the state of the housing market.

The firm, which floated on the Alternative Investment Market last year, sold 180 homes in 2004 at an average price of £120,000.

Chief executive Carl Turpin said: 'We'll probably sell about 200 units this year but at a higher average price of about £200,000.

'We haven't put our foot on the gas as the market was slow last year and in the first quarter of this year, but we hope to do about 300 units next year.'

Oakdene, which lifted pre-tax profits £2.5 million to £5.5 million after turnover rose £9.4 million to £21.4 million, is continuing to use local contractors to build jobs.