Builders report steady trading

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DEMAND for new build homes is holding steady amid help from various government schemes, some of the UK’s largest housebuilders said today.

Redrow and Taylor Wimpey told the City that while access to mortgage finance was still restricted, initiatives such as NewBuy, which underwrites 95 per cent mortgages with participating lenders, had helped confidence.

Bovis Homes added that prices in the housing market were broadly stable, with prices generally stronger in the south of England.

As well as New Buy, Redrow founder and chairman Steve Morgan pointed to the impact of the FirstBuy scheme, which helps low income buyers with an equity loan.

He added: “Without a doubt industry numbers would be considerably lower without this intervention.”

In an update covering the first 19 weeks of its financial year, Redrow said it continued to make “steady progress”, with sales per outlet up slightly on a year earlier at 0.58 per week.

The average price of reservations was 13 per cent ahead of last year at £223,000, reflecting the strength of the London property market and increased sales of Redrow’s New Heritage Collection.

Taylor Wimpey reported 467 reservations under NewBuy and its Scottish equivalent since the scheme’s launch in March, legally completing on 137 and exchanging on 132 homes. It has also completed a total of 1,179 homes under the FirstBuy scheme.

Taylor Wimpey added that it hoped to see further improvements in mortgage lending over the coming months as the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme gained more traction.