Persimmon says house demand is up across UK

Kasmira Jefford
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HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon said yesterday that demand for new houses continued to strengthen, helped by government intervention to help first-time buyers.

Persimmon, which builds homes across the country apart from central London, said its new financial year had started well, with private sale rates per site up 25 per cent in the first 15 weeks of its year compared to a year ago.

The company has benefited from the government’s Help to Buy scheme which enables buyers with small deposits to access mortgage finance for low- to medium-value homes.

“It’s working very well. The lenders are supportive of it and it really does deliver affordability for the buyer,” chief executive Jeff Fairburn said. “It is also giving builders the confidence to continue to invest.”

Persimmon said it had forward sales of £1.87bn for 2014, 35 per cent higher than in 2013.

House prices in Britain are rising at their fastest since June 2010, up 9.1 per cent on the year, according to official data released on Tuesday.

The figure masks wide disparities between the booming capital and the provinces. Prices in London are up 18 per cent, the biggest jump since July 2007.

“The London property market has remained buoyant, with demand from those wanting to live in London remaining well in excess of the supply of new homes,” the company said.

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