Taylor Wimpey says it’s business as usual

File photo dated 22/08/13 of Taylor Wimpey signs at a housing development, as the housebuilder said it is business as usual after it boosted profits and shrugged off uncertainty surrounding Britain's referendum on the EU. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 27, 2016. The FTSE 100 firm said trading was "in line with normal seasonal patterns" as pre-tax profits stepped up 12% to �266.6 million for the six months to July 3.  Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
File photo dated 22/08/13 of Taylor Wimpey signs at a housing development, as the housebuilder said it is business as usual after it boosted profits and shrugged off uncertainty surrounding Britain's referendum on the EU. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 27, 2016. The FTSE 100 firm said trading was "in line with normal seasonal patterns" as pre-tax profits stepped up 12% to �266.6 million for the six months to July 3. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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​Britain’s third-largest housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said the Brexit vote has had no impact on its performance over the last month, with trading in line with normal patterns.

The firm said Government incentive schemes to promote housebuilding mean that demand for new homes is likely to remain stronger than for existing properties.

The FTSE 100 firm said pre-tax profits ​rose 12​ per cent​ to £266.6​m ​in the six months to July 3.

The group’s finance director Ryan Mangold said: “We’re not seeing any Brexit jitters. Customers have a reasonable level of confidence and higher confidence in lower interest rates.”

The Bank of England is widely expected to reduce interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent next month in a bid to boost the economy after the referendum.

“Combined with Help To Buy, home ownership is relatively affordable,” said Mr Mangold.

He said the group is seeing strong demand in Yorkshire, where it has 29 sites and around the same number again in the pipeline.

“The Yorkshire market is looking healthy,” said Mr Mangold.

“We’ve been surprised by the strength of demand.”

The group said the average price of a house in Yorkshire has risen from £190,000 to £211,000.

“We’ve seen market conditions help as Yorkshire prices trend upwards and we’ve also seen an improvement in the quality of locations,” said Mr Mangold.

“We’ve seen strong demand for sites in Redcar, south of Catterick, Sheffield and Whinmoor.”

Revenues rose 9 per cent to £1.5bn over the period as it built more than 6,000 homes in the first half of the year.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said customer interest has continued to be high since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

He added: “We are monitoring customer confidence closely across a number of metrics, including appointment bookings, and these continue to be solid.

“Whilst it is still too early to assess what the longer term impact from the referendum result on the housing market may be, we are encouraged by the first month’s trading and by continued competitive lending from the mortgage providers as well as the positive commentary from Government and policy-makers.”

The firm saw a 5.8​ per cent​ increase in the ​national average selling price to £238,000 for first half of the year, up from £225,000 ​during the same period in 2015.

It said it also had a strong order book of 8,683 homes worth £2.2​bn.

​While regional trading remains robust, the company said it had seen some slowing in the London property market.

“Whilst we saw a small increase in the average cancellation rate immediately following the referendum, this remained low compared to long-term historic norms and is now back in line with recent low levels​,” said Mr Redfern.​

Housing stocks took a battering on London’s top flight index immediately after the Brexit vote and shares in Taylor Wimpey are still 24​ per cent​ lower than their closing price on June 23.

But Mr Redfern said: “The markets in all of our core regional geographies, which are the primary drivers of our business, continue to trade positively.”

Latih Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Taylor Wimpey “isn’t blinking in the face of Brexit”.

“Confidence is a key part of the housing market, and so far this seems to be holding up well in the weeks following the EU vote,” he said.