Housebuilder says it is ‘business as usual’ after EU referendum

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said it is trading as normal one month on since the Brexit vote.

The firm said trading in the last month was at a normal seasonal range with a net private sales rate of 0.65, while the net private sales rate for the year to date is 0.77, compared to 0.78 for the equivalent period in 2015.

However, it conceded there was a “small increase” in the average cancellation rate immediately following the referendum, but said this was now back in line with recent low levels.

Commenting on the impact of the Brexit vote, Taylor Wimpey chief executive Peter Redfern said: “Customer interest continues to be high, with a good level of visitors both to our developments and to our website. We are monitoring customer confidence closely across a number of metrics, including appointment bookings, and these continue to be solid.

“Whilst it is still too early to assess what the longer term impact from the Referendum result on the housing market may be, we are encouraged by the first month’s trading and by continued competitive lending from the mortgage providers as well as the positive commentary from Government and policymakers.”

The firm said it did adopt a more cautious strategy following the Brexit vote: “Immediately following the EU Referendum result, we increased our required investment margin and return expectations significantly when purchasing new land and reviewed significant work in progress and infrastructure spend. One month on, we are encouraged by the stability and resilience of the market and we believe the risk is starting to reduce.”   

In its half-year results to 3 July 2016, the firm posted a 12% jump in pre-tax profit to £267m, up from £238m for the same period the previous year.

Revenue was also up, jumping 9% to £1.46bn compared to £1.34bn in the first half of last year.

Housing completions also rose 3% to 6,019, up from 5,842 during the same period last year.