By Jonathan Davies

Bovis Homes has reported a 9% rise in half-year profits after selling a record number of homes in the first six months of 2015.

The housebuilder sold 1,525 homes in the six months, more than ever before and up from 1,487 in the same period last year.

That helped profits to rise 9% to £53.8 million.

The average price of a Bovis home is now £264,200, 10% more than last year, the company said. Chief executive David Ritchie told the BBC that this was a "reasonable" figure given that it mainly operates in the south of England, where prices are typically much higher.

Mr Ritchie said: "Our sales price... is about a medium sized three-bedroom house on average, and that we feel is a reasonable price for that type of home in the south of England."

He also warned that a lack of skilled workers was affecting its ability to contribute to the government's target of building 250,000 homes a year.

Mr Ritchie said: "In the last 12 to 18 months we've seen an improvement in the land coming through the planning process, such that we are now releasing over 200,000 plots for house building each year - that's the key starting point to deliver the capacity.

"We then do have to find enough people in the country to allow us to build those, and that will be the next challenge."