Good access to mortgages helping to bolster interest, says housebuilder

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Taylor Wimpey told investors today the negative impact of the ‘Beast From The East’ had been short-lived and it was seeing strong demand for its houses, fuelled by good mortgage availability.

The group said the underlying housing market had been stable in the first four months of 2018 and while the impact of bad weather conditions in February and March on sales and build rates had been “noticeable”, activity had subsequently recovered.

The housebuilder’s total order book value stood at approximately £2.2bn as at last week, level with the same point last year, representing 9,050 homes, versus 9,219 homes last year, excluding legal completions to date.

Looking ahead, the group said trading through the spring selling season had been good with strong customer demand, helped by low interest rates and a buoyant job market.

It said it was on track to meet expectations for the year, but noted that completions for 2018 would be more weighted to the second half of the year than in 2017.

In February, Taylor Wimpey announced annual revenues for 2017 up 8% to £3.96bn, with operating margins up from 20.8% to 21.2%.

But setting aside £130m to help homebuyers affected by the leasehold scandal had hit overall pre-tax profit which fell 7% year-on-year to £682m.