Housebuilder Persimmon brushes off Brexit fears

Persimmon. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Persimmon. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
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Housebuilder Persimmon has reported a buoyant third quarter, brushing aside Brexit fears in the process.

The group said its private sales rate in the period was 19 per cent ahead of last year and that the firm is “fully sold up” for the current year.

Persimmon added that it has around £757m of forward sales reserved beyond 2016, an increase of 4 per cent compared with last year.

The company described trading in the weeks following Britain’s decision to quit the European Union as “encouraging”, adding that customer activity strengthened at the start of autumn.

To cement the progress and meet demand, Persimmon plans to open a new brick factory in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, which will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017.

The company said: “The market has continued to benefit from resilient consumer confidence and strong lender support.

“The reduction in the bank base rate in August has resulted in more attractive mortgage products further supporting affordability.”

Persimmon and its listed rivals saw shares surge after the Bank of England slashed interest rates to 0.25 per cent from 0.5 per cent in August.

However, it added that it remains cautious with respect to new land investment in light of the uncertainty unleashed by the potential impact of the EU referendum.