Taylor Wimpey Preparing To Reopen Construction Sites

One of the UK’s building heavyweights, Taylor Wimpey PLC, is set to reopen its construction sites on a phased return in less than two weeks.

The house builder has pledged to conform with all governmental social distancing regulations and has created a set of revised protocols to allow the company to start building homes once again.

From May 4, site management teams will return to work and will ‘prepare sites for a new method of operating.’ A week later, from May 11, subcontractors will resume building.

Taylor Wimpey also highlighted the nation’s desire for moving by disclosing its order book figures which suggest an annual increase in orders from £2.4 billion in 2019 to £2.67 billion up to April 19.

Sales centres, show homes and regional offices will remain closed with all customer support managed remotely until governmental restrictions on social distancing are relaxed.

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey PLC’s Chief Executive, commented:

“Our first priority is always the health and safety of our customers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers. We took an early decision at the end of March to close our sites while we assessed in detail how to build homes without compromising on health and safety or quality. We are now confident that we have clear plans and processes in place so we can safely start back on site in a phased way beginning on 4 May.

“In the period while our sites have been closed, trading has inevitably been impacted. However, we are still seeing continued demand for our homes and our sales teams have been selling homes remotely, and digitally, week to week. Cancellations represent less than 1% of our current order book. We have a strong balance sheet and have managed the business conservatively and are as well positioned as we can be in the very difficult circumstances.

“The past few weeks have been unlike anything we have seen before, presenting huge challenges for businesses and individuals, and we support the measures put in place by the Government to reduce the spread of the virus and safeguard the NHS and public health. I would like to thank each and every one of our people for their outstanding efforts and commitment, and the way in which they have come together, working extremely hard not only to support the business and its performance, but to provide invaluable help to their local communities.”

James Tucker, CEO at mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec, commented:

“It’s good news that some of the housebuilders are beginning to open sites again. The knock on effects further down the supply chain will be reduced as the pool of new build houses begins to increase again.

“New builds are capable of being valued from desktop, and of course are vacant possession, so we’ve seen that part of the market fare better than some others over recent weeks.

“Hopefully, we can begin to manage a safe return across the whole range of the market from housebuilders to estate agents, and mortgage providers to removals companies.”

Could this be the start of the residential construction sector returning to work? Are we likely to see estate agents joining them in May?