Persimmon trading in line with expectations as demand outstrips supply
Listed housebuilder Persimmon has said it is trading in line with expectations as demand for new homes continues to outstrip supply.
In a trading update for the period from 1 January 2022 to date, the group reported an “encouraging” start to the year with private average weekly sales rates running about two per cent higher year on year.
As a result of high demand, cancellation rates have remained low with good levels of customer enquiries.
Persimmon had a “relatively low” 290 active outlets coming into the year, which reflects its forward sales position, including year to date legal completions, at about £2.8 billion.
The group said it is seeing good momentum in growing its outlets and is currently on track to open 75 more during the first half of 2022.
Persimmon’s group chief executive Dean Finch was upbeat while remaining “mindful of current uncertainties, particularly regarding consumer confidence, rising interest rates and the impact of the tragic conflict in Ukraine”.
He said: “The UK housing market remains supportive and Persimmon is well-placed for the future, with a strong and experienced senior management team, positive momentum in outlet openings, improving build quality and customer service and growing land holdings with industry-leading embedded margins. While we remain mindful of current uncertainties, particularly regarding consumer confidence, rising interest rates and the impact of the tragic conflict in Ukraine, the board is confident of the group’s future disciplined growth and success.”
The group expects completions will be weighted towards the second half and to deliver volume growth for the full year of around 4-7%.
Mr Finch added: “Persimmon continues to perform well. We are currently trading in line with expectations, demand remains strong, our private average sales rates are c.2% higher year on year and we have a robust forward order book of c.£2.8bn.”
Persimmon signed the UK Government’s pledge on cladding removal and fire safety remediation this month and expects the £75m provision it had previously made “remains appropriate”.