A managing director with one of the county’s leading house-builders has reported a strong start to 2013, as increased demand for new homes and improved mortgage availability has combined to deliver a more positive outlook for the housing market.
Persimmon Homes has released its results for the first half of 2013 and its managing director for the region, Paul Hurst, says the company has made a strong start to the year.
Underlying pre-tax profits for the group are up 40 per cent on last year, from £96.9million to £135.3m and legal completions in the UK are up seven per cent from 4,712 to 5,022 compared to the same period in 2012.
Mr Hurst said: “Nationally we have seen a 15 per cent increase in visitors to our developments, with weekly private sales reservations 12 per cent ahead of the same period in 2012, rising to 30 per cent stronger following the introduction of the Government’s Help to Buy measures in April.
“We are working hard to deliver new homes to people across the region, whether this is private housing through our brands Persimmon Homes and Charles Church, or affordable homes through Westbury Partnerships.”
In the first half of this year it has opened 90 new sites including developments in Scraptoft in the Harborough district, Bagworth and Kegworth, and it expects to open a further 85 before the end of the year, including one at Blackberry Grange off Farndon Road in Market Harborough.
Mr Hurst said: “To meet the ever-increasing demand, the company continues to make significant investments in strategic land.
“During the first six months of the year we acquired 7,538 new plots of land and added a further 800 acres of strategic land to underpin our ability to deliver new homes in the future.
“We remain committed to working closely with local communities to deliver excellent new sites in desirable locations, starting construction at these sites as soon as they achieve an implementable detailed planning consent.”
In addition to its investment in land, the company is looking to create more jobs across its 24 businesses.
It has recently announced a national recruitment drive to encourage more than 100 trade apprentices to join the firm and there is a corresponding programme of new hires in technical, managerial and sales functions.
Mr Hurst added: “As a region, we are delighted with the group’s performance and I would like to thank my own team for their hard work in helping to deliver these results.
“Our attention now turns to the second half as we continue to focus on the basics of good housebuilding to deliver further improvement in the performance of the business.”
For more information about Persimmon Homes, see its website www.persimmonhomes.com.
Story by Alex Blackwell
Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.