Taylor Wimpey upbeat on UK housing market as buyers shake off General Election jitters

Guy Bentley
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Taylor Wimpey reports rise in average selling price of 14pc (Source: Getty)

The figures

Taylor Wimpey has made an upbeat start to 2015, with an average private net reservation rate of 0.76 sales per outlet per week for the year to date - suggesting house buyers aren't worried about the impact of the general election (and given housebuilding is one of the few sectors that stands to benefit, whatever the outcome, why should they?). Cancellation rates remain low at 11 per cent.

The housbuilder's total order book stands at 8,200 homes - an increase of 24 per cent from the end of last year. The value of the order book has climbed 12 per cent from the equivalent point last year to £1.9bn. The average selling prices of homes in its private order book has risen 14 per cent from the same time last year, to £283,000.

Why it's interesting

Taylor Wimpey has enjoyed a relatively strong start to spring and demand remains high. Property prices posted strong gains throughout the first half of 2014, however they then slowed somewhat as tighter lending policies introduced by the Bank of England began to take effect.

There's no sign the FTSE 100 company is contending with uncertainty in the run-up to the General Election. Taylor Wimpey has been a supporter of the government's extension of the Help to Buy initiative, which gives first-time buyers a 20 per cent discount on their new home. The scheme is intended to double the number of starter homes to 200,000.

What Taylor Wimpey said

Taylor Wimpey's chief executive, Pete Redfern, commented:

During the first four months of 2015 we have seen the UK housing market continue to grow, with increasingly competitive mortgages and secure employment prospects underpinning homebuyers' confidence.

We remain focused on progressing our sites through the planning system to enable us to start on site as soon as possible and remain on track to deliver good progress towards all of our medium term targets in 2015

In short

Though there remains uncertainty surrounding the General Election, Britain's second-biggest housebuilder says it has not impacted customer confidence. A stronger economy and high demand mean a positive outlook for Taylor Wimpey in the near term.

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