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Taylor Wimpey in volatility warning

HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey has warned that conditions in the UK housing market remain volatile despite signs of greater stability in recent months.

The FTSE 250 group said private sales rates for the year to date are “broadly in line” with those in the first half of 2009 at an average of 0.58 sales per site per week.

Its order book is still strong and it has sold 83 per cent of its full year target for completions.

The UK’s third-largest housebuilder by volume says its focus remains on getting better prices rather than increasing volume with prices on reservations showing a “further slight improvement” since it issued its interim management statement back in April.

It expects to complete 4,650 homes in the first half at an average selling price of £167,000.

This compares with 4,702 homes at an average selling price of £153,000 in the same period last year.

Cancellation rates are at historic low levels with the year to date average running at 16 per cent.

The company said in statement: “We believe that the underlying shortfall of new build housing and the strong levels of demand will continue to underpin pricing in the housing market in the UK.”