TAYLOR Wimpey became the latest housebuilder yesterday to post a hike in full-year profits as low interest rates and high levels of employment fuelled demand for new homes.
The company, which has 24 regional businesses across the UK, said it completed sales on 12,454 new homes last year, up 6.5 per cent from 2013 while the average selling price rose 11.5 per cent to £213,000.
This helped lift its full-year revenue by 17 per cent to £2.7bn, with operating profits up 53.6 per cent to £480m.
The group said prices grew at a “slower and more sustainable” pace in the second half as new tighter lending policies introduced by the Bank of England began to take effect.
However, consumer confidence remained solid thanks to healthy levels of demand for new homes and low interest rates.
The company added that while the General Election was bound to create some uncertainty,the risk to the market was low, and that the crucial spring selling season had got off to a better than expected start.
At the end of the year, its order book stood at 6,601 homes, which it said was “the optimal size for the business at this point of the cycle”.
Shares closed up 2.07 per cent yesterday, as it lifted its 2014 dividend to 1.56p per share.