Belfast Telegraph

Taylor Wimpey confident over EU referendum impact as house sales rise 14%

House-builder Taylor Wimpey said it is "well-equipped" to handle potential fallout linked to the EU referendum as it reported a solid start to the year.

The firm said sales have been driven by customer demand in the first four months of 2016, which is up 14% compared with the same period last year.

The company said: "The uncertainty surrounding the European Union (EU) referendum has not impacted trading to date, and underlying demand remains solid across all of our geographies.

"Due to our customer base and supply chain being based principally in the UK, together with our strong order book, we are well-equipped to react to any potential changes in the market that may be caused by the EU referendum."

Taylor's order book stands at 8,811 homes against 8,200 in 2015 and the total order book value rose by 16.6% to £2.1 billion year on year.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: "Against the backdrop of a positive housing market, Taylor Wimpey is performing well, with increased customer demand for our homes and good access to mortgages driving strong sales rates."

City analysts pointed to the fact that uncertainty over the referendum has not deterred home buyers from purchasing new-build properties.

Anthony Codling, at Jefferies, said: "The Brexit debate does not appear to be occupying the minds of new-build home buyers.

"With an order book lasting longer than the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the EU referendum, Taylor Wimpey is in a good place to set up home whilst the nation decides in or out."