Posted by: Mark Goodwin

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Positive signs for those in HR within Construction

Taylor Wimpey has shrugged off Britain’s decision to leave the EU, saying that one month after the vote trading was normal for this time of year.

The housebuilder said on Wednesday that it was closely monitoring customer confidence, but in the short term at least it was business as usual.

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive, said: “While it is still too early to assess what long-term impact the EU referendum result will have on the UK housing market, there has been no meaningful change to date, with trading in the last month at a normal seasonal range.

“Customer interest continues to be high, with a good level of visitors both to our developments and to our website.”

The sentiments were echoed by challenger banks Shawbrook and Metro, which said there had been no change in customer behaviour since the 23 June referendum.

In the runup to the vote, members of the remain camp warned the housing market was vulnerable to a shock if the UK voted to leave the EU because of weaker growth and dwindling consumer confidence.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, warned of a possible stock market and housing crash.

Shares in UK housebuilders fell sharply after the result, and while they have recovered some of the losses, prices remain below pre-referendum levels.

Taylor Wimpey was one of the FTSE 100’s biggest risers on Wednesday following its confident statement, with shares up 4.2%.

It said that immediately after the vote it had seen a small increase in the number of people cancelling plans to buy a new home but cancellation rates were now back to their previous low levels.

It said the government’s help-to-buy scheme, competitive lending by mortgage providers and a shortage of homes in the UK were all helping to support the housing market.

Attempts by the government and Bank of England to boost confidence among households in the aftermath of the Brexit decision had also helped, the housebuilder said.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Taylor Wimpey isn’t blinking in the face of Brexit, and its early indications show the referendum hasn’t really dented business.

“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.”

Announcing results for the first half ending 3 July, Taylor Wimpey said sale completions were up 3% at 6,019 homes.

The average selling price increased 5.8% to £238,000, and underlying profits were up 12.1% at £266.6m. Taylor Wimpey’s order book rose 7%, to 8,683 homes.

In another sign of confidence, Taylor Wimpey confirmed it would pay a special dividend of £300m – or 9.2p a share – in July 2017, as well as an interim dividend of 0.53p a share in October 2016.


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