Berkeley Group sees a 25% rise in sales reservations

Image caption Housebuilder Berkeley Group said it had bought 1,000 new sites

Housebuilder Berkeley Group has said its sales reservations in the four months to the end of February were up 25% compared with a year earlier.

In its latest trading update, Berkeley also said its full-year earnings to be towards the top end of expectations.

Shares in the company climbed 4% on the news.

The British firm said that while building costs remained "benign", it would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

Despite widespread gloom in the housing market, Berkeley said it hoped to achieve further earnings growth in the coming year.

The company, which specialises in London and the South East of England, bought a further 1,000 plots across eight new sites between the start of November and the end of February.

Figures from the surveyors body Rics released earlier this month showed significant regional variation in the number of homes being sold.

In England, only London and the North East saw a rise in rise demand for property during February, Rics said.

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