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Taylor Wimpey reports strong trading figures

Housing company Taylor Wimpey has posted strong trading figures for 2013, with improvements across all of its strategic objectives.There was a rise of seven per cent in the total number of home completions, which climbed to 11,696. Some 18 per cent of these completions were affordable homes. Solid consumer demand, along with government initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme, helped to meet demand by improving the accessibility and affordability of mortgages.Over 2,900 households used the Help to Buy initiative to secure a property with the company during 2013.The firm reported an increase of six per cent in the average selling price of its properties, which rose to £191,000. Among private completions there was a rise of seven per cent in the average selling price, which climbed to £210,000. Chief executive Peter Redfern commented: "Taylor Wimpey is benefitting from the discipline that has been instilled over the past five years with a clear focus on margin as the best measure of the quality of our business. Focussing on the long term health of the business allows us to take the right decisions today to deliver much needed homes all the way through the housing cycle."Taylor Wimpey says it is in an "excellent" position for 2014, with an optimal order book and an increase in value of 27 per cent to £1.2 billion. Consumer confidence has risen and there have been high interest levels, numbers of visitors and reservations.It has acquired very high quality short-term land and secured a strong strategic landbank.According to the Independent, Mr Redfern does not advocate an extension of the Help to Buy scheme, preferring a gradual phasing out rather than an outright withdrawal of the initiative. Earlier this week, Barratt Homes reported strong trading figures, in part due to Help to Buy. It recorded an increase in the average selling price of its properties of 13.7 per cent and a rise of 19.3 per cent in the number of completions.Barratt said it was "well-placed" for the next financial year. 

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