Homebuilder sees “subdued” market

August 1, 2007 - 0:0

The UK housing market is slowing as interest rates begin to bite, the UK's biggest homebuilder has said. But Taylor Wimpey -- formed by the merger of George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow -- said though the market was ""subdued"", conditions remained stable.

It added that short-term conditions in the struggling U.S. housing market ""remained difficult to predict"", but it was confident for the longer haul.
The firm saw pre-tax profits of £259 millions in the six months to 30 June.
Shares climbed 5 percent as it revealed it had found an additional £30 millions in cost savings from the merger and announced plans for a £750 millions share buyback.
Taylor Wimpey said that it would concentrate on forward selling as it tried to beat the tough trading environment, with its order book 5 percent ahead of last year.
UK interest rates have risen five times since August 2006 and now stand at 5.75 percent, pushing up the cost of mortgages.
In the U.S., the firm said that plunging land values in Florida and California had forced it to write down £60.9 millions from its books, on top of a £25 millions provision announced in May.
Rising interest rates and higher mortgage defaults, especially among the sub-prime market, have dented the U.S. housing market.
(Source: BBC