HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey has said it has seen no impact from the recent interest rate rise and does not expect there to be one as the giant highlighted its ambition to maintain a strong Scottish presence.

Chief financial officer Ryan Mangold said activity levels had remained constant since the Bank of England raised the base rate to 0.5 per cent from 0.25 per cent earlier this month, on measures such as visits to developments and brochure downloads.

The trend in Scotland has been in line with other parts of the UK, leaving directors confident the company is in line for a good year.

“We continue to invest in the Scottish business,” said Mr Mangold. “We’ve got some good land in the east and good land in the west and we continue to replenish it.”

Mr Mangold was speaking after Taylor Wimpey issued its first trading update since the Bank Of England decided to increase rates for the first time in more than 10 years.

The rise is expected to add around £15 per month to repayments on the average variable rate mortgage. It has caused complications for housebuilders.

The bank has signalled further increases will follow as it looks to keep inflation under control. Consumer spending has been under pressure amid uncertainty about the outlook for the economy.

However, Taylor Wimpey said the UK housing market had remained positive through the second half of the year, amid expectations rates were likely to increase.

“Customer demand continued to be robust supported by healthy employment trends, a competitive mortgage market and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme,” the company said.

Mr Mangold appears confident the Bank of England is likely to increase rates only very gradually and in increments that would be too small to have much of an impact on the affordability of homes.

With rises in wages lagging inflation, the uncertainty caused by the prospect of Brexit is likely to make monetary policymakers take a cautious approach.

“We don’t think 25 basis points or 50 basis points, or arguably 75, is necessarily going to impact on home ownership,” said Mr Mangold.

He noted demand for homes for purchase is also being supported by the fact that it can be much cheaper for people to buy properties than to rent them.

Mr Mangold said conditions in Scotland seem consistent with the rest of the UK.

Growth in sales volumes was in line with the UK average in the first ten months.

Completions in Scotland increased by 5.25 per cent to 882, from 838. The company said sales in the UK rose around five per cent, from 14,112 last time.

The average selling price in Scotland fell to £217,000 from £220,000. Movements in the average may partly reflect changes in the mix of homes sold.

With 25 outlets in Scotland, Taylor Wimpey expects to sell more than 1,000 homes in the country again this year.

Mr Mangold said an annual sales rate of around 1,000 homes in Scotland feels about right.

The company will focus investment on the Central Belt unless there is a change in the economy of the area around Aberdeen that makes it more broadly based and less dependent on the oil and gas industry.

Edinburgh-based Miller Homes has underlined its interest in the Central Belt market in recent months, with directors appearing confident strong market fundamentals will outweigh concerns about political and economic uncertainty.

Taylor Wimpey chief executive Peter Redfern said: “We are on track to meet full year expectations and deliver further growth and performance improvement in 2018.” With a strong balance sheet and high-quality land bank, the firm is very well positioned to deliver sustainable growth.

Last week Persimmon issued an update that suggested its home sales were flat in the latest quarter, compared with the same period last year.