FirstBuy helps attract buyers to Persimmon

City A.M. Reporter
HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon yesterday posted a 12 per cent rise in annual revenue and an uptick in interested first time buyers helped by government incentives.

The news came as Persimmon revealed its chief executive would retire in April after seven years at the helm.

Mike Farley, who has been with the company for more than three decades, will be succeeded by Jeff Fairburn, the group’s managing director and chief executive of its northern division.

The largest British housebuilder by market value said revenue for the year to 31 December was £1.7bn, up 12 per cent, as its average selling price rose six per cent to £173,400 and the number of new homes it legally completed also increased six per cent.
This comes as valuations climbed across the housing market, driven by vibrant activity in buy-to-let. In total there were 12 per cent more valuations in 2012 than in 2011, according to data from Connells Survey & Valuation out yesterday, pushed up by a 33 per cent jump in buy-to-let.

Housebuilders are nevertheless benefiting from a lack of available new homes in Britain and government measures to spur the market, which have shored up demand despite a tough economic backdrop.

Persimmon has renewed its efforts to attract first time buyers to coincide with the extension of the government’s FirstBuy scheme in September.

The firm said it has seen an increase in interest from new buyers, and has recently secured an allocation of 3,000 new homes as part of the scheme’s funding.