Taylor Wimpey: help-to-buy means help-to-profit

The government’s help to buy scheme doesn’t address the housing crisis, notes SOLOMON HUGHES [MS]: it just boosts developers’ profits

TAYLOR WIMPEY’S accounts are out, and they show again how the Tory-linked developers are heavily reliant on government support.

The accounts, covering 2020 but released this July, show turnover and profits are well down, thanks to Covid-19.

But Taylor Wimpey are still doing OK: turnover dropped a third, to £2.79 billion. Profits dropped about two thirds, but still stand at £274m.

The real standout figure is that “during 2020, approximately 46 per cent of total sales used the Help to Buy scheme”: nearly half of Taylor Wimpey houses are sold with government-arranged top-up mortgages.

By subsidising house-buying, the government helps developers’ profits, but does nothing for affordability: the average price of a Taylor Wimpey house sold with the government’s Help-to-Buy was £286,000.

These are mostly “first time” buyers , but with the government’s effective subsidy, they are more expensive than the average house price, which in December 2020 was £252,000.

If the government subsidised housebuilding, more houses would be built. But because the government subsidises housebuying, it just increases both house prices and developers’ profits.

Taylor Wimpey is suitably grateful, and has hired top Tories to encourage more pro-developer Tory policies.

This March Taylor Wimpey hired Lord Jitesh Gadhia to serve on their board. Baron Gadhia is a substantial Tory donor and Conservative peer. He joins well-connected former Tory minister Angela Knight who is already a Taylor Wimpey director.