Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey revealed yesterday that it is sitting on a record order book as activity has surged to six-year highs and profit margins have hit a new high.
Chief executive Pete Redfern said in a trading update that the group – which employs 400 people in Scotland – ended 2015 with an order book of almost £1.8 billion. That was up 27 per cent on 12 months earlier and represented 7,484 homes.
Taylor Wimpey’s profit margin – earnings as a percentage of sales – rose to more than 20 per cent as at December 2015 compared with just under 18 per cent a year earlier.
“We have delivered a strong trading performance in 2015, in a positive housing market,” Redfern said.
City analysts said the update from one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders showed that buyer demand remained firm against a backcloth of chronic housing under-supply.
Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the latest numbers indicated that Taylor Wimpey was “in excellent shape”.
He added that it was further evidence that housebuilders were “in a sweet spot”, with their share prices trading above the basic value of their assets.
“For now, market conditions look set to remain favourable, suggesting the house builders’ purple patch could last a while longer,” Hunter added.
Taylor Wimpey said that its total home completions last year climbed 7 per cent to 13,341, while its rude health was also shown by an 8 per cent lift in its average selling price to £230,000.
The company welcomed the government’s commitment to renewed housebuilding.
It said: “Housing remains high on the political agenda, with a recognition of the structural demand and supply imbalance that exists in the UK.”
Taylor Wimpey is due to report its full-year results on 1 March.