House builder Taylor Wimpey adds to gloom

Taylor Wimpey sees no prospect of recovery in the short term. The company has now shed 1,900
workers this year as it tries to cope with the downturn in the housing market. The figure, revealed by the housebuilder yesterday, is more than twice its previously announced job losses, which totalled 900 at the end of July. Despite cutting prices and offering unprecedented sales incentives, Taylor Wimpey’s sales have slowed further in the second half of the year, with net reservations down to 165 a week, 27 per cent less than in the same period of 2014. The actual sales figure is higher, but the housebuilder warned it was continuing to suffer from ‘above normal’ levels of cancellations. Taylor Wimpey’s order book stood at 6,607 homes at the end of October, 40 per cent down on the same week last year. Pete Redfern, chief executive, said there was little prospect of improvement in trading in the short term and warned that the company may yet have to further write down the value of its land and incomplete building projects. Taylor Wimpey’s shares slipped 19 per cent to 10.75p yesterday amid continuing concerns about its �£1.9 billion of debt.