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York Based House Builder Announces Increased Sales


4:37pm 18th April 2013

York-based Persimmon Homes says it’s made a positive start to 2013 announcing £1.38 billion in sales.

Speaking after attending the company’s AGM in York today, Simon Usher, Director in Charge at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “Help to Buy is proving particularly popular and we are currently seeing incoming enquiries to our Persimmon Homes and sister-brand, Charles Church, websites increase by 30% compared to last year.” 

Help to Buy is a Government-backed 20% shared equity scheme for people buying new built homes.  Alongside this initiative Persimmon is also working with the Government to develop the Government Mortgage Guarantee Scheme which is to be launched from 1 January 2014.  It is anticipated that this new scheme will help mortgage lenders provide greater access to mortgage credit with smaller customer deposits at affordable interest rates.

Simon added: “Our strong results for 2012, announced today, pave the way for further investment in our region and support our plans to open a further four sites in Easingwold, Hornsea, Retford and Thirsk in 2013.  Forthcoming opportunities also exist in Harworth North Hykeham, Sherburn in Elmet, and a new phase at Staynor Hall Selby subject to planning approval.

“To meet the growing demand for new homes in York the City of York Council has launched a citywide plan to provide 1,090 new homes per annum for the next 15 years.  Persimmon Homes wholeheartedly share their vision for sustainable growth through necessary investment in new housing sites. 

“Acquiring land is key to Persimmon’s long-term success.  The action of local authorities like the City of York Council to take the necessary and bold steps to meet  housing requirements has begun.  Allocation of land will enable homebuilders to create much needed homes as well as providing massive economic benefits including local employment.”

In 2012 Persimmon group acquired c. 14,800 plots of land and anticipates opening c. 90 new sites in the first half of 2013, a 40% increase on the first half of 2012. 

Simon Usher confirmed: “Persimmon Homes has the appetite and capability to promote and purchase a wide range of housing sites, from 2 acres to 500 acres.  The City of York is proposing a variety of housing allocations that will allow homebuilders to meet housing requirements.”

He advised, “It takes a great deal of hard work, persistence, resource and expertise to deliver much needed new homes.  It will be essential for the City of York to continue to work closely with the industry so we can use the Council’s plans to deliver the required and much needed new homes soon.”

Nationally, in the first fifteen weeks of the year the group’s weekly private sales rate per site is C.4% ahead of the same period in 2012.  Total forward sales, including legal completions already achieved for the current year are 11% ahead of last year at £1.38 billion (2012: £1.24 billion).

Shareholders today voted overwhelmingly in Persimmon Group’s long term capital return plan.  The strategy aims to return £1.9bn (£6.20 per share) of surplus capital to shareholders over a nine and a half year period ending in 2021, whilst at the same time building a stronger, larger business.

Concluding, Simon Usher said, “Today’s shareholder mandate sets a direction of growth, investment and return for the Company for the long term.  We hope to see more Councils taking actions such as the City of York.  This will allow us to increase the supply of homes and play our part in creating economic growth to benefit us all.”

Mike Farley, Group Chief Executive formally retired from Persimmon at the AGM and is succeeded by Yorkshire born and bred, Jeff Fairburn, currently the Company’s Group Managing Director.

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