Builder Cairn Homes said its total revenues for 2019 grew by about 29% to €434m and it expects to report 1,080 home sales for the year, an increase of 34% on 2018.

In a trading update for the 12 months to the end of December, Cairn said it saw strong demand for new homes in 2019. 

It said this was underpinned by the competitiveness of its average selling price (excluding VAT) of €372,000, up from €366,000 in 2018. 

Cairn noted that its first-time buyer starter home average selling price (excluding VAT) last year was €314,000, up marginally from 2018's price of €312,000). 

"Cairn's model will continue to deliver a large volume of new homes to the market at these price levels where first time buyers can get access to mortgage finance," the company said.

Cairn said it had started 2020 with a forward sales pipeline today of 740 units with a sales value of €227.2m.

Of this about 600 units with a sales value of €185m are expected to close in 2020. 

"Our increasing forward order book reflects our broadening buyer pool and our more diverse product mix," the company said. 

Michael Stanley, co-founder and CEO of Cairn, said that with more certainty around Brexit, the robust performance of the Irish economy and the fact that housing supply still falls significantly short of demand, he believes Cairn's business model is well positioned to take full advantage.

"We look forward with real confidence to 2020 and beyond," Mr Stanley said. 

He also said the company will continue its policy of progressive ordinary dividends and will declare a final dividend in March 2020.

Shares in the company moved over 2.4% in Dublin trade this morning.