“The uncertainty surrounding the European Union referendum has not impacted trading to date, and underlying demand remains solid across all of our geographies,” the board said.
Concern about uncertainty surrounding the referendum was cited as a key factor in the Construction Products Association downgrading its industry growth forecasts earlier this month. [See previous report here.]
But Taylor Wimpey said that its trading had remained “very positive” in the first four months of 2016. Customer demand is up 14% compared to the same period last year, driving a strong sales rate. Average private net reservation rates increased to 0.80 sales per outlet per week for the year to date (2015 equivalent period: 0.76). Cancellation rates remained low at 11%.
The total order book stands at 8,811 homes (compared to 8,200 this time last year), excluding legal completions to date. Value of the order book is up 22% since the start of the year to £2,168m.
Build cost inflation has also come down as expected, the company said. It is anticipating underlying build cost increases of 3-4% in 2016.
Chief executive Pete Redfern commented: "Against the backdrop of a positive housing market, Taylor Wimpey is performing well, with increased customer demand for our homes and good access to mortgages driving strong sales rates. We remain committed to delivering sustainable value through the housing cycle, with a firm focus on continuous business improvement, including investment in our people, product and systems, and implementing and embedding our new customer service approach across the whole business. With a strong forward order book and high-quality landbank, we are well positioned for the remainder of the year and beyond."