First-time buyers lift Persimmon

HOUSEBUILDING heavyweight Persimmon has seen its efforts to help struggling first-time buyers get their foot onto the property ladder begin to pay off.

The group has received £35 million of funding from the UK government under the FirstBuy scheme where the housebuilder and the state stump up the deposit between them, the largest allocation given to a housebuilding firm under the programme.

Potential first-time buyers have been struggling to get onto the property market because lenders are demanding large deposits, typically of up to 20 per cent.

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Persimmon updates investors this week on its recent trading. The group, whose brands include Charles Church and Westbury, said demand for new properties accelerated through the spring selling season to lift orders above the previous year.

Despite a fall in first-half turnover, the firm is expected to report that pre-tax profits increased by about a quarter to almost £49 million after it improved its margins.