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Sales at Persimmon have jumped ahead of their pre-Covid levels, as the Government paused stamp duty during the crisis.
The company said that forward sales had hit £3 billion in the opening months of 2021, 23% ahead of where sales were last year, and even 11% higher than 2019, before the pandemic.
Despite the tax being removed on some property sales in a bid to prop up the market during Covid, the price of the average Persimmon home reached £252,000, up 3% compared to a year ago.
“Our build rates continue at pre-Covid levels and we remain on track to deliver first half volumes approaching those of the first half of 2019,” said chief executive Dean Finch.
“We are progressing our land holdings and taking advantage of good quality investment opportunities, bringing 6,000 plots across 29 locations into the business in the period and securing a strong pipeline for the future.”
The business said it has contacted all the management companies, agents or building owners who it plans to help through a £75 million fund intended to remove cladding following the Grenfell fire.
It said that demand is good and that the fundamentals of the new home market are still positive despite some challenges during the pandemic.
“Whether it’s a dangerous bubble or a solid indicator of economic growth the housing market has hurtled into 2021.
“Housebuilder Persimmon has reported sales up a whopping 23% this year and 11% above the same period in 2019.
“And with average prices reflecting the national surge, the business is making more too,” said Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst.
“People are grabbing onto their ‘new normal’ and for many that could involve a move, particularly if their working patterns have changed.
“Though new builds are excluded from some government-backed mortgages, demand is so prodigious firms like Persimmon will have to work fast to keep up.
“A building boom is inevitable and this housebuilder is already salting the ground.”