'Healthy' order book and government support provide strong foundations for Taylor Wimpey
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey looks to be moving back on track, in part thanks to government support measures, analysts have said, as the firm revealed housing demand had been “resilient”.
The group, which has a sizeable presence in Scotland, told investors they could expect an interim dividend in November, on top of the payout they will get next month.
Speaking ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, being held virtually, chief executive Pete Redfern said: “The UK housing market continues to be resilient and we are trading in line with our full-year expectations. With strong market fundamentals, customer demand for our high-quality homes remains robust and we are achieving a strong sales rate and building a healthy forward order book.”
He added: “We are a cash generative business with a strong balance sheet and remain focused on our strategic priorities to drive operating profit margin while creating long term value for our customers and shareholders.”
The company has also been snapping up land, which has at times proven cheaper over the past year. A year ago Taylor Wimpey had 78,000 plots in its short-term landbank. It now owns around 82,000.
Adam Vettese, an analyst at investment platform eToro, said: “The housing market has bounced back after closing for essentially the entire second quarter last year.
“Government measures such as the mortgage guarantee scheme and extending the stamp duty holiday have provided a supportive environment for builders at a time when they most needed it.
“While Taylor Wimpey’s full-year financials weren’t pretty, its outlook is improving with a strong pipeline and a growing bank of land on which to build.
“The government’s intervention in the housing market will boost housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey for the coming months but there is still deep uncertainty about what happens when these schemes disappear.”
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, noted: “The stars are aligned for the housebuilding sector at present and Taylor Wimpey continues to reap the benefit.
“Historically low interest rates, government schemes and the stamp duty holiday would be sufficient tailwinds for the sector to thrive in normal circumstances. In addition, however, the availability of mortgages, an ongoing demand/supply imbalance and loosening lockdown restrictions add further fuel to the fire and for the moment prospects are bright.”
Taylor Wimpey told investors: “Despite the continuation of national restrictions in the first few months of the year, customer demand for new housing has remained resilient.
“The extension of the stamp duty land tax holiday and the announcement of the 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme demonstrate that housing remains a priority for the UK government.
“Trading is in line with expectations and we remain on track to deliver against our guidance set out at our 2020 full-year results in March.”
Laura Hoy, equity analyst at financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “So far it seems Taylor Wimpey has made all the right moves since the onset of the pandemic and the government’s commitment to keeping a floor under the housing market has kept the foundations strong.”