Housebuilder, Taylor Wimpey, has announced that it has made a “good start” to 2019, while acknowledging the effect of increased build cost inflation for the year.
Issuing an update ahead of its Annual General meeting covering January 1 2019 to today, the firm said that the new build housing market had remained stable during the first four months of the year.
Sales throughout the spring selling season maintained their “encouraging” levels, with average private sales for the year to date at 1.03 per outlet per week compared to 0.85 during the equivalent period in 2018.
As of the week ending April 21 2019, the company’s total order book value stood at around £2,399 million (2018 week 16: £2,155 million), representing 10,291 homes against the previous year’s 9,050.
The business noted it had seen “higher than expected” cost inflation in early 2019, especially in materials, and now expected build cost inflation for the year to be around 5%. Bearing this in mind, it said it anticipated slightly lower margins for the year.
It added that it remained on course to meet its overall expectations for 2019 but with results weighted towards the second half. “Given the strong sales performance, we expect full year volumes to be slightly higher than 2018,” it said.
Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s ceo, commented: “We’ve made a good start to 2019 and in spite of wider macroeconomic uncertainty, the housing market has remained stable. We are achieving a record sales rate and building a solid forward order book for the year, although we see increased build cost pressures.
We continue to make encouraging progress in embedding our customer-centric strategy and driving significant improvements in our quality and delivery, and it was pleasing to be recognised by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) as a five-star homebuilder in March this year.
Looking ahead, we are focused on delivering our ambitious strategic goals to drive sustainable growth and create long term value for our customers and shareholders.”