Persimmon set for further growth

Persimmon's chief executive Jeff Fairburn
Persimmon's chief executive Jeff Fairburn
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​Housebuilder Persimmon ​said enquiry levels jumped 6 per cent during the first half of 2018 thanks to strong demand for ​family housing at affordable prices​.​

​The York-based firm​ reported a 5 per​ ​cent rise in first half revenue​ to £1.84bn​ as new housing completions increased by 278 homes to 8,072 homes ​during the six months to June 30.

T​he​ average selling price ​rose by 1.2​ per cent​ to £215,800​, up from​ £213,262​ in the first half of 2017.​

Persimmon ​said it ​is focused on increasing its output of ​​affordable family housing in locations where people want to live and work. It said ​consumer confidence remains resilient​, boosted by attractive mortgage ​offers.

The ​g​roup ​added that it ​has a strong platform to achieve further growth in the second half.

​The firm said it will focus on building the new homes needed by communities right across the UK​ and it​ remain​s​ confident ​about future prospects.

Laith Khalaf, ​s​enior ​a​nalyst​ at​ Hargreaves Lansdown​, said:​ "Persimmon is still selling more houses at higher prices, but business is not booming like it was last year. Indeed the share price has fallen by more than 10​ per cent​ in the last month as investors have lowered their expectations for the housebuilding sector.​"

Mr Khalaf said the​ UK housebuilding industry has been on a terrific run, fueled by low interest rates, rising property prices, and the Help to Buy scheme.

​"​But some of the wind is now being taken out of the housebuilders’ sails, as property price growth has slowed, and building costs have ticked up​," he added.​

​"​Interest rates still remain attractive for house buyers, and the Help to Buy scheme continues to provide critical support for transactions in the new build market. While the ​Government has committed to the scheme until 2021, share prices in the sector may come under pressure as we get nearer to that date, unless the deadline is extended.

​"​None of this adds up to a crisis for the housebuilders just yet, but the pickings may be slimmer from here on in.​"​