Taylor Wimpey positive despite political uncertainty

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has revealed demand remains strong for new homes despite the construction industry suffering amid the political and economic uncertainty.

Previously the company had warned that costs had been rising whilst it was stocking up in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

But on Wednesday, bosses said the business is on track to hit expectations with a strong pipeline.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “In spite of wider political and economic uncertainty, housing market conditions have remained resilient. We are focused on the delivery of the highest service and build quality to our customers and investing in the sustainability and future capacity of our business.”

He also added the company still intends to hand back £610 million in dividends to shareholders next year.

However, there was some caution over the housing market in London and the South East, where Taylor Wimpey said business was particularly struggling with the effects of Brexit uncertainty.

Sales were 0.96 per outlet per week, up from 0.81 a year ago. Cancellation rates for the year to date remain low at 15%, compared with 14% last year, and 252 homes have been sold so far this financial year.

The current total order book, excluding joint ventures, is 10,433 homes as of November 10, with an order book worth £2.7 billion – up 12.5%.

Costs have also fallen, with the company saying: “Over recent months we have seen a softening in the cost pressure experienced earlier in the year and expect that cost inflation will reduce as we go into 2020.”