Taylor Wimpey predicts stable outlook for UK house market

Kasmira Jefford
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TAYLOR WIMPEY said yesterday the UK housing market remained “stable” despite wider uncertainty in the Eurozone and the global economy, as it continued to grow sales.

In a first-half trading update, Britain’s second largest housebuilder said it sold 5,083 homes in the six months to 1 July, up from 4,707 the same time last year, with average selling prices up from £168,000 to £175,000.

The average private net reservation rate rose to 0.6 sales per outlet per week from 0.56, with the average selling price rising to £175,000 from £168,000.

Homebuilders have been benefiting from a shortage of supply of new homes in Britain in spite of a weak economic climate and the economy slipping back into recession.

Chief executive Peter Redfern said this tightness in supply had helped offset the difficulty buyers face in securing mortgages.

But shares in the company fell almost three per cent yesterday, with analysts saying that the tone of the statement was more cautious than anticipated.

Mortgage lending continues to be restricted, although the company said it was encouraged by the introduction of the NewBuy scheme.

Nevertheless, its order book grew to £960m as of 1 July, up from £932m a year earlier.