Bovis Homes Group said it expected a fall in first-half profit, in a further sign that the UK housing market is cooling off.
Cumulative reservations to date were lower than the comparable period in 2004, chief executive Malcolm Harris told the group's annual general meeting, while the legal completions expected for the first half of 2005 would be below the 2004 level.
"Consequently, profits in the first half will be lower year on year with a stronger weighting of legal completions and profits in the second half of the year," he said.
"The second trading period will benefit from a significant increase in social, partnership and smaller properties which will provide a good base for the group to be able to target an increase in legal completions for 2005."
The company said it was too early to predict the UK housing market for 2005.
Underlying demand for housing had continued to outstrip supply, while average house prices within the market were stable, it said.
However, it added that a slowing of the second hand housing market was hampering the speed at which it could convert reservations to contract exchange and then onto legal completion.