It reported pre-tax profits of £733m – a 21.5% rise on 2015. Revenues rose 17.1% to £3.7bn.
As well as customer confidence in its core geographies, the developer cited a competitive mortgage market and low interest rates as positive market characteristics. It saw an 11% increase in average UK selling price in 2016, rising to £255,000 from £230,000.
Customer interest remained high, it said, with 49% forward sold for 2017 and a total order book value of £1.98bn, compared with £2.03m in 2016 (excluding joint ventures). The order book represents 8,573 homes, up from 8,409 in 2016.
The net private sales rate for the year to date was 0.91, compared with 0.77 for the equivalent 2016 period.
However, private central London completions were down, with 58% forward sold – compared with 76% in 2016. The developer said this segment of the market is softer, but “house prices are stable, and there are good levels of underlying demand”.
Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “In 2016 we delivered an excellent performance set against an uncertain political and economic environment that stabilised in the final quarter. The outlook for 2017 is for ongoing stability and incremental price growth, which is a healthy backdrop for our business and our customers.”
In its statement, the firm said it believed the risk of material impact from Brexit in the short term had significantly reduced. “We will continue to closely monitor market risks, particularly around long-term mortgage cost. However we believe that a cautiously regulated market and low interest rate environment is likely to prolong the period of stability that we are seeing in the UK housing market.”
The strong results follow a similarly positive report from rival Persimmon.