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Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey make strong start to the year General

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Top Story
Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey make strong start to the year

Volume house builders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey have reported a buoyant spring selling season and start to the year.

Both firms said orders were up by over a third as Help to Buy continued to boost sales, and visitor rates climbed 10% in the first 15 weeks of the year.

Persimmon has reported forward sales up by 35% over the previous year to £1.38bn.
The house builder said it had 7,200 new homes sold forward into the private sale market for this year, which is 38% ahead of the same point last year, with an average selling price of £200,400, up 3%.

Jeff Fairburn, group chief executive, said: “We have 395 active sites across the UK and have successfully opened 75 of the 90 new outlets targeted for the first half of 2014 to refresh this network.  

“Our build activity continues to support the improved rates of sale and we remain confident of delivering further growth in the number of new homes legally completed for 2014.”

Taylor Wimpey reported a similarly rosey picture in a first quarter trading statement this morning.

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey chief executive, said: “We have experienced a more traditional seasonal pattern, with a strong spring selling season.”

“We have made a particularly strong start to the year, working successfully with local communities and authorities to convert 4,800 plots from our strategic pipeline.”

The firm increased the total order book value by a third to £1.6bn against the same period last year.

Average selling prices of homes in the total private order book jumped by 22% from the same point last year to £248,900.

Redfern added: “Inevitably the better market has resulted in ongoing pressure on build costs and labour, particularly in some geographic areas, however this continues to be held at a manageable level.”

He said Taylor Wimpey was on course to raise its operating margins by an extra 200-300 basis percentage points this year.

The Futures Group
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