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McVey announces £8m for ‘better designed’ homes; positive mortgage market boosts Taylor Wimpey – round-up

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  • 14/01/2020
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McVey announces £8m for ‘better designed’ homes; positive mortgage market boosts Taylor Wimpey – round-up
Funds of £8m have been allocated to deliver up to 200,000 new homes in garden towns and villages in England, housing minister Esther McVey has announced.

 

Some £6m is set to go towards new, better designed homes in communities while an additional £1.9m will be given to councils to support new neighbourhood plans where residents will be allowed to have their say on the types of homes that are built and where. 

The government said these homes would be delivered using modern design techniques and some of the money would be put towards preparing environmental assessments in the local area. 

McVey said: “Communities have the local insight to decide what new homes should look like and the kind of infrastructure they need in their area.

“This is what neighbourhood planning is all about, so I’m pleased this funding will ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.” 

The latest new garden community to receive backing from the government will be built at Wynyard, which has already received £150,000 and will make it the largest new settlement in the North East, delivering up to 6,800 new homes. 

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, added: “I am delighted that this funding has been approved and it is another example of the government’s commitment to projects in the Tees Valley – they are supporting my ambition to make our region a better place to live and work. 

The proposed garden community will take more pressure off nearby developments when it comes to excessive building which is changing the character of our villages and towns for the worse and proving to be a real headache for residents. 

 

Taylor Wimpey 

Taylor Wimpey increased home completions by five per cent to 15,719 in the year ended 31 December 2019, attributed to a stable housing market in the face of “ongoing economic and political uncertainty”. 

Some 23 per cent of these were affordable homes, as the housebuilder delivered 3,548 during the year, up slightly on 2018’s total of 3,416. 

Average selling prices on private completions increased by one per cent to £305,000 – an increase on last year’s £302,000 – while the overall average selling price of a Taylor Wimpey home increased from £264,000 to £269,000. 

The housebuilder attributed some of its performance to the mortgage market as Pete Redfern, chief executive, told Reuters: “I think the environment is more relaxed and confident than 12 months ago. Mortgage availability and pricing remains very good, those are all positive indicators.”

The housebuilder said it would post results in line with its expectations in February, with a predicted operating profit margin of 19 per cent. 

Taylor Wimpey ended the year with a net cash balance of £546m, down on the previous year’s £644.1m. 

Redfern added: “In 2019, our focus was on strengthening the long-term sustainability of the business, further improving our build quality and customer offering, as well as increasing operating capacity and flexibility.

“In 2020, we will continue with these initiatives and will also prioritise a renewed cost focus and process simplification improvements.”

 

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