The continuing decline in the US housing market has forced Taylor Woodrow to write down £20m of the value of its North American landbank.

In a trading update the housebuilder said it would still report a strong result in North America for 2006 because of forward sales in 2005.

It said its UK performance was stronger, with home completions up 1.4% to 8,294.

The average selling price went up 4.3% to £193,000.

Taywood’s shares rose slightly to 428p.

• Jason Millett, the former UK boss of Bovis Lend Lease, has been appointed deputy chief executive of developer and contractor Artisan Group.

Artisan is based in Manchester and has a turnover of £53m.

Millett left Bovis last year after a row with global chief executive Bob Johnston over the restructuring of the UK division.