Taylor Wimpey hails pick-up in house buying

 
Kasmira Jefford
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TAYLOR Wimpey said yesterday it expects profits for the year to be at the top end of expectations as consumer sentiment in the housing market shows signs of improvement.

The housebuilder said it expected to report that group operating profit rose by over 40 per cent in 2012 when it reports its annual results in March.

In a trading update, the company added that full year operating margin would be ahead of that reported for the first half of 2012 and for the full year in 2011.

Pete Redfern, chief executive, said: “We are delivering on the strategy that we set out in 2011, including a return to UK double digit operating margin ahead of schedule.”

The group said average selling prices on private completions increased by six per cent to £197,000 against a backdrop of broadly flat house prices in the wider market.

Home completions rose by seven per cent to 10,886, up from 10,180 in 2011, of which 18 per cent were affordable homes, down slightly from 20 per cent in 2011.

Taylor Wimpey said it started 2013 “in an excellent position” with an order book of 5,966 homes worth £948m in value on last year.

“Two weeks into 2013, consumer sentiment towards the housing market is more positive than we have seen in recent times. Clearly it is too early to judge the market for the year, but we maintain a positive, although cautious view in the short term,” the firm said.