News Column

Taylor Wimpey backs stricter mortgage rules

July 8, 2014


TAYLOR Wimpey yesterday welcomed new Bank of England rules to temper the housing market as "a positive move" as the housebuilder delivered a strong first half of the year.

The group said a strengthening housing market helped sales rates and prices of its new homes come in at the top end of forecasts, while operating profit margins also improved to around 16 per cent compared with 13.1 per cent last year.

It completed 5,766 homes in the six months to the end of June, up 11 per cent on the same time last year while the average selling price of completed homes rose to about 206,000 from 188,000 a year ago.

Sales rates per site per week have risen also nine per cent to 0.71, reflecting the continued easing of the mortgage market and improved consumer confidence.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said new measures imposed by the Bank of England to limit how much people could borrow to buy a home would help to reduce the risk of the housing market overheating and was unlikely to negatively affect the business.

The company, which has been a big beneficiary of the government's Helpto-Buy scheme, said 42 per cent of private homes were completed in the first half through the programme.

Overall, its order book stood at 1.6bn or 7,587 homes, as at 29 June, compared with 1.3bn last year.

"We are confident of delivering on our full year expectations and building on our solid base to deliver our medium term targets from 2015 and beyond," it said.

ANALYST VIEWS WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO TAYLOR WIMPEY'S HALF YEAR TRADING UPDATE ? Interviews by Kasmira Jefford ANTHONY CODLING JEFFERIES At half time, there is no nervousness or need for a strong pep talk from team boss Redfern. His players are following the set game plan and leaving little to chance, having set the bar high with respect to value vs volume, they have left Persimmon with a lot to do in the second half.

ROBIN HARDY SHORE CAPITAL While we have reviewed the make-up of our forecast for 2014, there is no significant change to the pre-tax profit or earnings per share. The change we have made is that there will be stronger growth in average selling price and lower than previously anticipated growth in earnings margins.

MICHAEL HEWSON CMC MARKETS Taylor Wimpey has been by far the better performer over the past 12 months, up around 30 per cent and it shows in the context of the dividend yield, currently 0.6 per cent and a forecast yield of 2.1 per cent, which would seem to suggest that the best of the gains could well be behind it.

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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