Taylor Wimpey completions show impact of COVID but order book continues to grow
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has reported that total group completions, including joint ventures, in the 22 weeks to 31 May were 2,455, compared to 4,052 in the 2019 equivalent period, reflecting the impact of site closures during the COVID-19 lockdown.
As at week ending 31 May 2020, however, the total value of the company’s UK order book stood at approximately £2,779m, an increase on £2,515m in 2019.
This represents 11,228 homes (2019: 10,557), excluding legal completions to date, of which 7,788 (69%) are exchanged.
Taylor Wimpey’s UK net sales rate increased to 0.51 for the week ending 31 May 2020, compared to 0.85 for the same period in 2019, and stands at 0.72 for the five months to 31 May (0.99 in 2019).
The business started reopening construction sites on 4 May, and it is progressing construction on majority of sites across England and Wales, with Scottish sites preparing to do so in line with government guidance.
Following the start of their phased reopening on 22 May, the majority of the company’s show homes and sales centres have also opened in England, on an appointment only basis, and all employees have now returned from furlough.
Taylor Wimpey is operating on 231 selling outlets, compared to 255 in 2019.
In the nine weeks from the start of lockdown there were 306 cancellations, representing 5% of the private order book over that time. In 2019, this figure stood at 6% of the private order book.
Since reopening sales centres in England, the company has experienced a threefold increase in appointment bookings made in the week to 31 May 2020, and a 32% increase in website traffic compared to the same period last year.