Housebuilder Barratt (LON:BDEV) said the housing market remained good with demand strong in all areas of the country.
David Thomas, chief executive, said there remained a significant structural shortage of new homes in Britain.
Weekly orders rose to 261 (2014: 232) in 19 weeks to 8 November, with average net private reservations per active site per week of 0.70 (0.63).
Forward sales are nearly 21% higher than a year ago at a value of £2.5bn (2014:£2.07bn), equating to 11,033 plots (2014: 9,734 plots).
Finding skilled staff to meet the demand remains a problem, Barratt said, with an additional 250 graduates, trainees and apprentices taken on for 2016 after it took on 327 last year.
Build costs for FY16 to set to increase by 3-4%, in line with previous guidance.
“The outlook is positive and we are driving towards our FY17 targets of at least a 20% gross margin and at least a 25% return on capital employed," said Thomas.
Shares were flat at 574p.