Housebuilders Persimmon and Galliford Try see sales surge

Some more evidence this morning of a housing market that's gathering momentum.

UK house builder Persimmon said it had a "strong finish" to 2013, with the volume of new home sales up 16 per cent over the year to 11,528.

In a trading update, the firm said it legally completed 6,506 new homes in the second half - a 30 per cent increase on the first.

Sales volumes were 25 per cent from 2012.

Meanwhile, fellow house builder and construction group Galliford Try has said that it's expecting a record half year profit after a continued strong performance.
The rates of sales and prices were above expectations, it reported, with a 20 per cent increase in total sales reserved and the average selling price up 16 per cent to £288,000.

Persimmon's average selling price for legal completions in 2013 was around £180,900 - a four per cent rise over 2012.

The value of total forward sales at 31 December 2013 was 41 per cent ahead of a year ealier at around £908m (compared to £645m in 2012).

The company started the new year with 390 active sites across the country, and it expects to open a further 90 in the first half of this year.

It saw full-year revenues rise 21 per cent to £2.1bn. In its statement, it said:

This growth in revenues and the anticipated further improvement in operating margins will enable us to deliver strong underlying pre tax profit growth for the year ended 31 December 2013.