House builder Taylor Wimpey said it erected 5% more homes in 2019 and sold them at higher prices, helping it to achieve annual results in line with its expectations. 'Despite an uncertain political and economic backdrop in 2019, we have continued to experience a good level of demand for our homes and trading in the second half of the year was as anticipated,' chief executive Pete Redfern said in a trading update. 'The housing market remained stable throughout 2019, albeit with more challenging conditions in London and the South East and at higher price points,' he added. Home completions in the year through December rose by about 5% to 15,719, up from 14,933 on-year. Cancellation rates bumped up to 15%, from 14%, while overall average selling prices rose to £269k, up from £264k. The company's net private reservation rate was 0.96 homes per outlet per week, up from 0.80. At year end, Taylor Wimpey's order book was valued at £2.18bn, up from £1.78bn on-year, excluding joint ventures. Build cost inflation was about 4.5%, though, as stated by the company in November, there had been a softening in cost pressures in recent months. 'While 2020 will continue to be a year of change for the UK, we welcome the increased political stability following the general election,' Redfern said. 'We start the year with a strong order book and continue to target a smoother profile of completions throughout the year but expect 2020 to continue to be second half weighted.'
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