Miller welcomes mortgage checks as it reveals strong results

Housebuilder Miller said the recent introduction of tougher mortgage affordability checks had helped ensure the long-term viability of the housing market, as it unveiled strong half-year results.

The Edinburgh-based group said legal completions jumped 28.2 per cent to 855 units in the six months to June 30 as it saw pre-tax profit before interest and exceptional items from its homes division almost triple to £19.1m compared to a year ago. Sales leapt 40.2 per cent to £175.4m.

The country’s largest privately owned housebuilder said the launch of the Mortgage Market Review checks and Bank of England rules on lending earlier in the year had not affected its trading and “should help ensure a long-term sustainable supply of mortgage finance and hence demand for new housing”.

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It comes after lender Nationwide said this week that the new rules on affordability checks had partly contributed to a fall in its gross mortgage lending in the first quarter to the end of June.

Miller also reported an 11.9 per cent rise in average selling prices to £198,000, compared to the year before.

The group added that its forward sales for the second half of the year were up 35 per cent to £124m year-on-year.

Chief executive Keith Miller said: “The group has performed well and benefited from continued improvements in the market.”