Taylor Wimpey indicates signs of market recovery

HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey added to improving sentiment in the housing market yesterday by saying it saw stability in the UK and United States, although further writedowns dragged its shares lower.<br /><br />The company, which already wrote down the value of its land and work in progress by just over &pound;1bn during 2008, announced a further &pound;527m of land provisions in the UK, North America and Spain, alongside its first-half results.<br /><br />The firm reported a wider six-month pre-tax loss of &pound;68.9m, compared with a loss of &pound;0.3m last year.<br /><br />Chief executive Pete Redfern said: &ldquo;Our land is conservatively valued at this point in the cycle and we do not expect further writedowns unless there is a significant shift in any of our main markets.&rdquo;<br /><br />Redfern said there were some signs mortgage lending was gradually improving in the UK and that Taylor Wimpey was confident of opening 40 new sites in the second half.