The Chief Executive of First Property warned that Britain's house price boom could end in tears as the real estate fund manager hailed a market upturn in the UK and Poland for higher annual profits.
Ben Habib, pictured, said the UK government's policy of boosting the housing market with incentives such as Help to Buy would inevitably cause artificially high property prices.
As wages struggle to keep pace with inflation, a relatively minor rise in interest rates may be enough to overstretch home-buyers, Habib said.
"It's unavoidable to conclude that government policy is driving prices," he said.
"If rates go up just a small amount, there could be quite damaging effects across the UK."
First Property has about 28 assets in the UK including office developments, retail park stores occupied by DIY chains B&Q and Homebase and high street shops used by retailers such as discounter Poundland.
It also has about 30 commercial and retail properties in Poland including the Blue Tower office development in Warsaw.
Habib said the company aims to expand with selective investment in assets as well as income from its existing estate.
The group focused on the UK until 2004 but then expanded to Poland and now has about 30% of its £341m of assets in the UK, 67% in Poland and 3% in Romania, although it said it plans to focus more on the UK as the economy recovers.
Pre-tax profits rose 86% to £6.6m in the year to March 31st, largely as a result of the £3.8m sale of two office blocks in Woking and Bracknell in Berkshire, on a 60% lift in revenue to £17m. Net assets climbed 27% to £23.5m.
First plans to expand development activity in the UK and to resume investment in income-producing Polish commercial property.
Habib said: "The very significant headwinds the property industry has experienced in the last few years seem to have abated, with economic growth becoming established in the UK and continuing in Poland.
"I therefore look to the future with continued optimism."
AIM-listed ZincOx Resources reported that its loss more than doubled to $26.3m for 2013, resulting mainly from the multiple operational and mechanical issues at its Korean recycling plant (KRP).
As a consequence, in most months, the plant was operating for less than two thirds of the time and generated costs associated with the remediation work and increased unit operating expenses.
However, the group said that problems that caused the long stoppages last year have been addressed and it anticipated a more continuous operation over the coming months, with production expected to increase steadily to full capacity in the autumn.
The loss was significantly wider that the $9.4m posted in 2012, with the cost of sales jumping from $21.7m to $40.3m year-on-year.
Andrew Woollett, Executive Chairman, said: "Now that the problems of 2013 have been addressed, the KRP has accelerated its ramp-up and we are operating at record levels of production.
"We expect this ramp-up to continue while we fine tune the operating conditions and debottleneck critical pieces of equipment, so that full production can be achieved in the fourth quarter of 2014."