Persimmon’s sales plummet amid stamp duty confusion

| August 21, 2008 | 0 Comments
Persimmon's sales plummet amid stamp duty confusion

Housing developer, Persimmon, has reported a 30% fall in sales of new homes in the six months to the end of June.

The company sold 5,501 new homes during the period, down from 8,002 in the first half of 2007.

Blaming the UK’s shrinking mortgage market for plummeting sales, Persimmon has also revealed that the average selling price of one of its new homes has fallen to £181,485, down from £189,255 last year.

The firm also said that confusion over stamp duty had exacerbated the slowdown.

Earlier this month, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, stated that a suspension of the tax would be included among a range of measures he is considering to kick-start the UK’s housing market.

However, firm details of any change in the levy will not be confirmed until the autumn and the delay has encouraged potential purchasers to bide their time in the hope that the tax will be temporarily suspended.

Meanwhile, Persimmon’s profit for the first half of 2008 has fallen 64%.

The company’s chief executive, Mike Farley, has described conditions in the housing market as the most difficult in recent history and is calling for government action.

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