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Boost to housing market from Help to Buy

HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey has said its average selling price has grown 22% to £248,900.

The company, which sold around 1,000 homes in Scotland last year, has a large exposure to the London housing market but operates around the UK.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said the housing market was buoyant with consumers benefiting from more accessible mortgage finance supported by the government backed Help to Buy scheme.

Mr Redfern said the company has made a strong start to 2014 across all the areas it works in.

He said: "We remain confident of delivering further improvement in all our key financial objectives and maximising shareholder returns."

Taylor Wimpey said total order book volumes had grown by 13% to 8,139, when compared with the 7,190 in 2013.

The value of the order book was said to have grown 33% year-on-year to stand at £1.6 billion.

Its private net reservation rate had been 0.75 sales per outlet per week, compared to 0.66 in the first three months of 2013.

The company forecast average sales rates to be slightly ahead of last year while cancellation rates are at a historically low 10%.

Around 1,600 people used Help to Buy to secure a Taylor Wimpey home in the trading period.

Mr Redfern said the business remained a net buyer of land as it was still able to negotiate purchases at good margins.

Its short term land bank stood at around 73,000 plots even after the conversion of 4,800 in the first three months of the year.

Net debt at the end of March was £130million.

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