House builders see uplift in Autumn sales

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Leading house builders are reporting signs of confidence returning to the housing market despite fears about the impact of the Eurozone crisis and health of the UK economy.

Sales at Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Bovis recovered in the busy Autumn selling season according to a series of trading statements from the firms this week.

The builders remain cautious about pressing ahead with a large number of new sites in the present economic climate but the improvement in sales should work through to a small uplift in starts.

The trio of house builders reported sales rates had improved in line with expectations and described the market as stable.

Persimmon, largest UK house builder by market value, said first-time buyers had returned to the market, up 35% against last year and were keen to participate in the Government sponsored FirstBuy shared equity scheme.

Weekly private sales rates from the start of September were 19% higher than a year ago giving it confidence that expected sales volumes for the full year would be consistent with 2010 at more than 9,300 legal completions.

The country’s second biggest volume house builder Taylor Wimpey said housing market conditions were robust despite the ongoing uncertainty in the wider economy.

It said the return to more normal seasonal trading patterns over the autumn was encouraging after the collapse last year. Visitor levels rose 40% in the 10 weeks from the end-August.

As a result, Taylor Woodrow said average weekly reservation rates per site rose to 0.55 for the second half to date compared to 0.47 last year.

Its current order book for future completions at week 43 in the calendar is 6,265 homes against 5,496 homes last year

Meanwhile, smaller rival Bovis Homes said its sales rate per site was also up from 0.45 last year to 0.49 over the autumn period.

Bovis said it was on track to deliver completions up between 5% and 10% on last year’s figure of 1,901, helped increase in the number of sales outlets, and a 10% increase in the number of net reservations per site week.

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