Persimmon sales pushed higher thanks to Help to Buy

Persimmon has sold over 5,000 homes under the scheme. Picture: Getty
Persimmon has sold over 5,000 homes under the scheme. Picture: Getty
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Stimulus measures designed to help more people onto the property market have boosted sales at Persimmon, the builder told investors yesterday.

The firm said it has now sold more than 5,000 homes under the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme – which offers interest-free loans to buyers of new-build houses – since the initiative launched last year.

Persimmon, led by chief executive Jeff Fairburn, has secured forward sales of £1.87 billion since the start of 2014, up 35 per cent on a year ago, while average selling prices have risen 3 per cent to about £200,400.

It has sold 5,000 new homes to customers in England using mortgages associated with the taxpayer-backed Help to Buy scheme, with a further 600 bought by customers in Scotland and Wales using similar mortgage products.

Help to Buy was due to end in 2016, but Chancellor George Osborne announced last month that the UK government would plough an extra £6 billion into the scheme to extend it for a further four years, despite fears that the initiative is fuelling a fresh house-price bubble.

London-focused developer Telford Homes said yesterday that it is yet to make a sale through Help to Buy or any similar package as it revealed pre-tax profits for the year to March would be “more than double” the previous year’s £9 million.

In a trading update, Telford told shareholders that demand from those seeking to buy a property in London remained “well in excess” of the supply of new homes.

Persimmon said that, with support from mortgage lenders, the extension of Help to Buy would help builders increase the supply of new homes to meet demand over the medium term.

It added: “Our build activity continues to support the improved rates of sale and we remain confident of delivering further growth in the number of new homes legally completed for 2014.”

The group has almost 400 active sites across the UK, with visitor levels in the past 15 weeks up 10 per cent against the same period a year earlier.