Taylor Wimpey positive despite mortgage fears
House builder Taylor Wimpey has reported a strong start to the year, despite concerns about mortgage availability.
In an interim management statement issued ahead of its annual general meeting today, the builder says the market appears stable and trading is ‘at the upper end of our expectations’.
Sales are running at 0.62 per outlet per week, compared with 0.57 last year, and the value of its order book is up 23 per cent on the same time last year to £1.03 billion.
The builder notes it is concentrating on growing margins rather than volume, and is also increasing its land reserves, with the purchase of 4,085 plots approved since the start of the year.
In the statement Taylor Wimpey says mortgage availability ‘remains a constraint on the housing market’ although it says there has been strong interest from customers in the government’s Newbuy mortgage indemnity guarantee scheme, through which lenders offer 95 per cent mortgages in return for government-backed security.
Other builders have recently warned the high interest rates on offer for Newbuy mortgages could undermine the scheme, and Taylor Wimpey says ‘its success will depend on lenders providing competitively priced mortgage products’.
Taylor Wimpey welcomes the publication of the National planning policy framework, which it says could deliver ‘a far more constructive, creative and open planning system’ if used positively.