Taylor Wimpey has secured 99 per cent of expected sales in the first half of its financial year, leading to a £90 million debt reduction.
When it holds its annual general meeting today, Taylor Wimpey directors will tell shareholders it has completed sales for 99 per cent of its target for the first half of its financial year and 74 per cent for the full year.
Directors said the market conditions remain encouraging, with continued gradual improvements in mortgage availability and buyer confidence.
Private sales rates are unchanged from the equivalent period in 2009, at an average of 0.61 sales per site per week, while cancellations are running at long-term low levels of 14.8 per cent for the year to date. This is an improvement on the 18.5 per cent in thesame period of 2009.
Sale prices of private homes have increased by 9 per cent from this time in 2009, with around 5 per cent of this from changes in mix and around 4 per cent from underlying price increases.
These higher selling prices have helped the firm reduce debt by £90 million to £660 million. At the end of 2009, debt was £751 million.
The statement added: “Although economic and political risks remain in the UK, we believe that the underlying shortfall of new build housing and the strong levels of demand will continue to underpin the market. However, we remain concerned that the shortage of consented land will artificially constrain industry volume recovery in the medium term.”
The US business is expected to prove volatile over the next few months, before moving into a steady recovery phase towards the end of 2010.