Healthy order book
The Taylor Wimpey order book currently stands at 8,200 homes which is an impressive increase of 24% from the end of last year. Indeed this figure is 12% higher than the corresponding point from 2014 with the current order book worth an impressive £1.9 billion. However, perhaps the most telling of the data released by Taylor Wimpey relates to an increase of 14% in the average selling price of UK property which now stands at £283,000.
This relatively strong start to 2015 certainly flies in the face of concerns about the forthcoming election and the impact this may have on money markets. Historically no matter which government has been in power the UK property market has continued to grow and with an expanding population demand will continue to remain relatively high.
Help To Buy initiative
The Conservative/Liberal coalition’s Help To Buy scheme has been well received by both housebuilders and the general public. The scheme will be used to double the number of starter homes across the country up to 200,000 although historically there is still a shortfall on newbuilds. The scheme itself has received a mixed response within the political arena but the fact is that many people will take this opportunity, which includes a 20% discount on the cost of their new home, to finally the climb aboard the property ladder.
All political parties across the UK have committed to increasing the number of newbuild properties with the Liberal Democrats going further than any other party. It will be interesting to see whether the government of the day will be able to deliver on their own promises or whether these will be “kicked into the long grass” as we have seen in the past.
We will hear from an array of other housebuilding companies over the next few weeks with many experts believing that a similar upbeat trend will emerge. It is beginning to seem as though the doom and gloom headlines published by many media companies in relation to the UK property market could be misleading. The fact that the UK public still appears to have confidence in the UK property market is both a reflection of the long-term trend and the successes of the current Conservative/Liberal government.
This time, perhaps more than any other time in recent history, the property market is playing a central role in party manifestoes. The forthcoming general election is balanced on a knife edge which should give the UK electorate more power to hold parties to their pledges if they manage to gain power.