Midland housebuilder Taylor Woodrow has signalled an uncertain outlook for the UK housing market after showing the impact of challenging trading conditions.

Taylor, which sells homes under the Bryant brand, joined many of its rivals in reporting a weaker performance compared with last year, contributing to a three per cent fall in group pretax profits to £170.4 million.

The company employs 600 people at its head office in Solihull which also oversees its Midland division which has sites in Olton, Lichfield, Stratford, Warwick and Worcester.

Chief executive Iain Napier said: "The outlook for the UK remains uncertain for the rest of this year, although the longerterm market fundamentals are strong."

Taylor, which also sponsors Moseley rugby club, said it completed 3,194 UK homes in the six months to June 30, down from 3,869 in the same period last year. Its UK forward order book stood at £602 million, down from £733 million last time.

Average selling prices in the UK fell to £195,000 from £199,000 in the first half of last year, mainly due to a slightly higher proportion of social housing and apartment completions. This contributed to operating profits in the UK falling to £108.1 million from £131.5 million.

In contrast, the group was cheered by an "excellent" performance from its operations in North America and Spain, which increased profits by 38 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.