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Monday 01st of September 2008
August 28, 2008

Taylor Wimpey house sales plummet by one-third


by Gill Montia
Taylor Wimpey house sales plummet by one-third

Taylor Wimpey, the UK’s biggest housebuilder, has reported a catastrophic slide in sales during the first half of the year.

Sales of the group’s homes fell nearly 31%, to 8,494, during the six month to the end of June.

According to a report in The Times, the level of sales equates to half-a-house per week across the developer’s sites.

At the same time, the average price of a private home sale fell 10% compared with the first half of 2007, while the average in the group’s growing social housing business declined 7%.

In presenting the half-year results, chief executive Peter Redfern stated that around 200 properties a week had been sold during the past five to six weeks, representing some improvement on the second quarter of the year.

However, the company has been offering incentives to shift stock and this has put margins under pressure.

Its customers have benefited from help with their deposits plus part-exchange and shared equity schemes.

Mr Redfern is not expecting any short-term improvement but suggested that while there is no single solution for the UK housing market, lower interest rates and more certainty over stamp duty would be helpful.

The group posted a £1.55 billion loss for the first half of 2008, having been forced to write down the value of its land.

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