Persimmon hails ‘resilient’ housing sector as quality drive continues

May 2 2019 @ 15:23 by Steven Hugill

A housebuilder says a renewed commitment to the quality of its properties, allied to a “resilient” new-home market, leaves it well placed to continue its progress in the sector.

Persimmon says it has benefited from enduring consumer confidence, with high levels of employment and low interest rates making the prospect of moving into a new home more viable.

It also expects sales for the first-half of the year to reach similar levels compared to 12 months ago, despite a change in property releases.

The business, which has an office in Newcastle Great Park, revealed its progress during a trading update for the period between January 1 and May 1.

The business has taken a more targeted approach to the timing of sales releases on a number of sites and is progressing builds to a more advanced stage before releasing homes for sale as part of a drive to increase quality.

However, while the measures have reduced the number of sales reservations made since the start of the year, bosses say they also don’t expect the move to negatively impact its progress due to continuing strong demand.

The company, which also has offices in Bowburn, County Durham, and Thornaby, near Stockton, saw total forward sales revenue, including legal completions taken to date in 2019, stand at £2.6 billion, compared to £2.7 billion a year earlier.

The average selling price of sales to the private market in its forward order book stood at around £237,850, compare to £236,500 a year earlier.

A spokesperson said: “As part of our previously communicated plans to improve our service to customers, in particular providing greater accuracy of anticipated moving-in dates, we are continuing to take a more targeted approach to the timing of sales releases and to progress build.

“As expected, these measures have reduced the number of sales reservations made since the start of the year, but we remain confident that, with the continuation of current market conditions, these sites will make a good contribution to sales once builds have progressed and homes are released for sale.

“Overall, sales reservations remain in line with our expectations and we currently anticipate achieving a similar level of legal completions in the first half as last year.

“The group’s legal completions for the second half of the year will be similarly determined by our continued focus on progressing our build programmes ahead of sales release, together with prevailing market conditions.”

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