Persimmon sales soar past pre-pandemic levels
Strong demand from buyers and rising property prices helped Persimmon increase sales above pre-pandemic levels in the first half of the year, the housebuilder said today.
In a trading update ahead of its half year results to 30 June 2021, the company said its total revenues for the period were £1.84 billion (2020: £1.19bn, 2019: £1.75bn).
The group delivered 7,406 new homes to its customers (2020: 4,900, 2019: 7,584), generating housing revenues of £1.75bn (2020: £1.10bn, 2019: £1.65bn).
Persimmon’s total average selling price has increased by 4.9% over the first half of last year to c. £236,200 (2020: £225,066, 2019: £216,942) reflecting the stronger market conditions experienced throughout the period. This includes 6,104 sales into the owner occupier market with an average selling price of c. £258,200 (2020: £246,208, 2019: 242,912).
Currently, this house price growth is mitigating the effect of the upwards pressure being experienced on the industry’s cost base, the firm added.
Persimmon said UK housing market fundamentals remain supportive with low interest rates, improving levels of mortgage availability, ongoing Government support and strong customer demand. The group’s average weekly private sales rate per site for the first half was over 30% ahead of 2020, the increase reflecting the unprecedented site shutdowns in 2020 due to the pandemic, but was also c. 20% ahead of 2019.
Dean Finch, group chief executive, said: “Persimmon performed well during the first half of the year delivering new home sales completions approaching the levels achieved in the first half of 2019. I am particularly pleased that we are continuing to achieve pre-Covid build rates across our sites whilst successfully maintaining higher levels of build quality and customer service.
“Our current HBF customer satisfaction score is 91.9%1, with Persimmon’s monthly performance trending ahead of five star for the last eighteen months. We are providing much needed new homes to our customers whilst continuing to drive forward our ambition of building right, first time, every time.
“Customer demand for our new homes has been strong right across the UK with healthy sales reservation rates through the period. The group has an excellent forward order book at the end of June of £1.82bn.
“In supporting the group’s high quality growth we are taking advantage of attractive land investment opportunities and successfully brought over 10,000 new plots into the business across 48 locations in the period. We remain focused on progressing our pipeline of new sales outlets through the planning system and into production, and on our ongoing build programmes, to provide improved stock availability and choice for our customers.
“Persimmon is well placed for the future with a strong balance sheet and healthy liquidity. As such, we are pleased to announce the accelerated payment of the surplus capital distribution of 110p per share in respect of the year ended 31 December 2020, which will be paid on 13 August 2021.”