Updates from housebuilders Vistry and Taylor Wimpey today suggest the UK housing market is beginning to be defrosted.
While it is becoming more apparent there won’t be a return to outright ‘normality’ in the UK any time soon, both companies have outlined plans for a phased return to work in the coming weeks.
“This is good news beyond the sector as any disruption to the country’s housebuilding efforts could exacerbate an already pressing housing crisis,” according to Russ Mould from AJ Bell.
“In an example of how we might have to live with coronavirus until there is a vaccine or effective treatment, new protocols will be in place to enforce social distancing. For Taylor Wimpey, the exception to this cautious start up is Scotland where Government support is still awaited for a return to work.
“Even through lockdown both Vistry and Taylor Wimpey have managed to sell homes remotely and digitally – even completing on some transactions – giving customers virtual tours of homes and handling all the admin online.
“Somewhat remarkably cancellations account for just 1% of Taylor Wimpey’s order book and this order book continues to grow, showing very resilient demand from purchasers in what are an unprecedented set of circumstances.
“Vistry’s net debt was below expectations and it expects to book £40 million in revenue from completed work over the next two weeks while Taylor Wimpey has access to cash of more than £800 million giving both parties breathing space while they begin the slow grind back to more typical levels of activity.”