House prices up
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The housebuilder said the rise to an average price of £224,000 comes as more people are seeking to buy homes and are better able to do so in a more favourable lending climate.

The firm, which has 27 sites across Scotland, said total completions for the period increased 2% at 902, up from 882 in the same period last year.

A spokesman for the company said: “The market in Scotland has been positive during the second half of 2018, with good customer demand and a supportive lending environment driving an increase in completions for the period.”

The company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that the UK housing market has remained stable through the second half of 2018, despite the wider political and economic uncertainty.

It said customer demand for new build homes continues to be robust, underpinned by low interest rates and a wide choice of mortgage deals.

Sales rates for the year to date have stayed level with last year.

The company, which finished the day on the stock exchange 1% up at 164p, said it expects to end the year with a net cash balance of around £600 million, against £512m last year.

Its current total order book is 9,783 homes, which is 12% above last year when it was 8,751, and it is worth about £2.4 billion, up by 9% from £2.2bn last year.

The company said in its statement: “This is at the upper end of our expectations at this stage, and we would expect this to reduce naturally towards the end of the year as more homes complete.”

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey chief executive, said there is a watchful eye on Brexit but that the company’s order book is healthy.

He added: “We have delivered a strong performance during the second half of 2018, with very good sales rates supported by positive customer demand and a supportive lending environment.

“This builds on our strong forward order book and puts us on track to meet full year expectations.

“Looking ahead to 2019, we remain mindful of wider political and economic risks and the potential impact on customer confidence.

“However, with a strong balance sheet in place and a high-quality landbank, our business is well positioned to deliver further sustainable growth and cash flow over the medium term.”

Source: Herald Scotland

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