Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey reported a big jump in half year profits as it sold more houses at better selling prices and said it would reward shareholders with a £300m cash return.
The firm, which has 46 sites in Yorkshire, said activity has increased since the General Election, with buyers’ confidence boosted by low mortgage rates.
Taylor Wimpey’s finance director Ryan Mangold said: “The election brought a lot more certainty for developers and, more importantly, for consumers.
“Ed Miliband was talking strongly about Mansion Tax and a tax on landbanks which would not have been very helpful.
“We’ve seen the elimination of the uncertainty that a hung parliament could have caused.”
The group said average house prices in Yorkshire rose from £175,000 to £190,000 and it completed 819 homes in the region in the six months to June 28.
Sales rates rose about 10 per cent on last year.
The market was underpinned by price inflation of three to four per cent, which the group said felt more balanced and sustainable than levels of 10 per cent last year.
The firm said it will return more cash to shareholders after pre-tax profit rose by a third to £238m in the first half and it said its land bank is big enough to sustain ambitions to build around 14,000 homes a year.
Overall, the group built 5,842, up 2.6 per cent on a year ago. The national average selling price was 9.2 per cent higher at £225,000.
Taylor Wimpey, in common with other housebuilders, is enjoying a recovery in the market this year, supported by rising incomes, low unemployment and low interest rates.
Chief executive Pete Redfern described the housing market as “stable and positive”.
The firm said the market was solid in the first four months of the year despite election uncertainty, which allowed for small increases in house prices.
But since the May election it said the market has improved significantly, with sales rates beating expectations.
Analysts at Jefferies said: “Despite uncertainty in the lead up to the UK General Election, Taylor Wimpey saw a very stable housing market with resilient sales rates and positive house price momentum.”