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November 4, 2009    

Taylor Wimpey reports “solid” autumn sales

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by Gill Montia

Taylor Wimpey has described UK housing market conditions as “significantly better” than a year ago.

In a trading update covering 1st July to 4th November, the group said a gradual improvement in mortgage availability and a recent increase in housing starts was contributing to positive sentiment.

The firm has not experience the usual seasonal slowdown over the summer months and sales rates have remained “solid” into the autumn.

The house builder is fully sold for 2009 with cancellations at 16% for the second half to date, compared with 19% in the first half of 2009 and 46% in the final six months of 2008.

In addition, the average selling price for the developer’s private homes is currently around 9% higher than the £163,000 achieved on private completions during the six months to the end of June.

In response to these improvements, the group has increased its build rates and now has 317 active sites, with further openings planned before the year’s end.

As transaction volumes in the land market continue to be well below normal levels, Taylor Wimpey says it remains cautious on large scale land purchases although it has approved commitments for 1,011 plots at eight new sites since the end of June.

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