Snap election no sweat for property market

Persimmon's CEO Jeff Fairburn
Persimmon's CEO Jeff Fairburn
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Housebuilder Persimmon said the property market took the snap General Election “in its stride” as the firm racked up another set of rising sales.

In a half-year trading update covering the year to June 30, the Charles Church group disclosed that revenue grew 12 per cent to £1.66bn, with the average selling price of its homes growing 3.5 per cent to around £213,000.

“We have continued to experience good levels of customer demand since the group’s AGM trading update on 27 April 2017, with the market taking the snap UK General Election in its stride.

“Consumer confidence remains resilient and compelling mortgage rates continue to offer good support to new home-buyers,” Persimmon said.

Completion volumes rose 8 per cent to 7,794 homes in the period, with total forward sales valued at £1.6bn, an increase of 18 per cent compared with last year.

Persimmon added that it expects the strong trading seen in the first six months of 2017 to lead to progress in its operating margin, exceeding “comfortably” the 25.7 per cent delivered in the second half last year.

The firm added: “Successful execution of the long-term strategy launched in 2012 has placed the group in a very strong financial position, with an excellent asset platform designed to position Persimmon for success through the housing cycle.”

The update comes after Halifax last month reported a slowdown in the housing market when Prime Minister Theresa May’s calamitous decision to call a snap election led to increased uncertainty among house-buyers.