Taylor Wimpey order book up 28pc

HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey has entered the new year with a 28 per cent rise in orders for new homes and seen a boost in prices.

But the trading update on performance in the 12 months to 31 December saw a drop in the number of homes completed in 2009 compared with the previous year.

The company said it had reduced its borrowings from the £1.5bn it owed at the end of 2008 to £750m.

The average home price for Taylor Wimpey – the second largest UK housebuilder by volume – rose by £6,000 in the second half of the year to £160,000.

However, the annual figure was lower than 2008, when the average price across the UK was £171,000.

Prices for affordable homes remained at an average of £108,000 in 2009 – the same level as in 2008.

The company finished 10,186 homes in 2009 compared with 13,394 the previous year.

Taylor Wimpey, which has operations in the UK, the US, Spain and Gibraltar, raised £500m in a rights issue in June.

The housebuilder said in a statement: "Our UK business has maintained its encouraging performance since our Interim Management Statement in November and we enter 2010 with a very strong order book position, up 28 per cent by volume compared to the end of 2008."