Housebuilder Persimmon reports strong start to year and plans to build in East Anglia

Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller - Credit: Rob Howarth

One of the UK’s biggest housebuilders has reported a strong start to the year as demand for new homes continues to improve.

But Persimmon said it was too soon to judge the effects of the EU referendum results on the UK homes market.

Andrew Fuller, managing director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, speaking after the company issued a trading statement ahead of its half year results which are due out on August 23, said new schemes would be built across the region over the next six months after a healthy start.

“Low borrowing costs and healthy labour market conditions have helped support consumer confidence and in the first half of 2016 our new home legal completions rose by six per cent to 7,238,” he said.

“We have been encouraged by our private sale reservation rate, which is currently running four per cent ahead of the same period last year. We’re also pleased to report that visitors to our sites continue to run ahead of last year’s levels by eight per cent.

“In the second half of the year, construction will start on a further 100 new developments across England, Wales and Scotland to meet the ever-increasing demand for quality new homes.

“Locally this will include Chancery Park in Exning, Kett’s Meadow in Hethersett, Persimmon Grange at Framlingham, Nelson’s Park in North Walsham, Persimmon Gardens at Martham and Beauchamp Grange at Caister.

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The firm said it continued to take good level of sales through May and June with private sales ahead of last year, and strong demand for new homes, particularly for first time buyers, supported with Help to Buy.

“It remains too soon to judge the effect that the result of the EU feferendum will have on the UK new homes market,” said Mr Fuller.

“Negotiating an exit from the European Union could be a long and complex process and it is difficult today to predict how and over what timetable this process will evolve.”

But against this background, the firm had a strong balance sheet and a clear strategy and was focused on building new homes, he said.