Berkeley forward sales exceed £1.5bn

The company announced that trading for the period is in line with the expectations of the board.

Tony Pidgley, Berkeley chairman, said: "Berkeley is well placed to achieve its profit targets, which are in line with market expectations, and to meet the first milestone to return £588m in cash to shareholders by no later than 30 September 2015."

Pidgley said that sales to the UK domestic market have improved aided by returning consumer confidence and the impetus of Help to Buy.

Berkeley has added three new sites to its land bank in the period at White City and Battersea in London and in West Sussex.

This announcement is the latest in a string of bumper profit reports from the UKs biggest developers.

In July Taylor Wimpey reported a pre-tax profit rise of 42.1% to £109m during the first half of 2013 and 1,300 home reservations because of the Help to Buy scheme which it said has taken its order book to a record level of £1.3bn.

And in August Bovis Homes saw its housing operating profit rise 50% to £20.4m in the first half of 2013 fuelled by increased volumes and higher average sales prices.

Since the start of the year Bovis’ private reservations have risen 43% to 1,712 against the same period last year.