Britain's second-biggest housebuilder by volume Persimmon said sales had risen 15% since the UK voted in June to leave the European Union.

But the company said that it would be hard to better last year's strong performance in 2017. 

Persimmon, which built 15,171 homes across Britain last year, also posted an expected 8% rise in 2016 revenue to £3.14 billion and said profits for the year would be at the top-end of expectations. 

Pre-tax profit for 2016 is forecast to rise nearly 20% to £755m, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. 

Persimmon said it built 7,933 homes in the six months to the end of December but it did not give a sales figure in its trading update today. 

But it said the strong demand seen in 2016 would be difficult to beat this year.

"We're not anticipating big growth," the company's chief executive Jeff Fairburn told Reuters. 

"The first part of the year was a very good trading time for us in terms of sales so I think the comparables are going to be quite tough and perhaps a bit of uncertainty about trading," he said. 

An increase in UK stamp duty property tax introduced in April last year encouraged some buyers to push forward their sales to the first three months of the year, boosting sales in the period, according to a number of surveys. 

Persimmon said it would continue to buy land for future developments, one of the biggest costs borne by a housebuilder, but added that uncertainty created by the June 23 referendum outcome might affect its decision-making.