Housebuilder's trading statement shows it beat down debt despite tight mortgage finance

The availability of mortgage finance has not materially improved for either owner occupiers or investors, according to the latest trading update from Telford Homes.

The London housebuilder said it had been more successful than expected at bringing debt down, to £71m from £107m in March, and that full-year results would be in line with expectations. However, it said this was despite the lack of improvement in the mortgage market.

It said: “The availability of mortgage finance and the time taken to process mortgage applications, whether for owner occupiers or investors, has not improved and continues to delay the completion of the majority of pre-sold properties.

The firm said it completed 224 homes in the first half of the financial year, compared to just 119 the year before, and that it had extended its grant programme from the Homes and Communities Agency from £57m to £73m.

However, the firm said it had not yet been investing in new land.

Chief executive Andrew Wiseman said: "Our prudent approach and strong partnerships with housing associations positioned us well for the downturn, allowing us to adapt successfully to economic conditions and enabling us to continue construction with reduced risk. We are experiencing steady activity in the market but we remain cautious in our approach to new investment."