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Wednesday 12th of January 2011
January 10, 2011    

Housebuilder Persimmon hit by reduced sales activity in December

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by Kay Murchie
Housebuilder Persimmon hit by reduced sales activity in December

December’s heavy snowfall had a negative impact on many companies and housebuilder Persimmon was no exception.

The housebuilder, which is the UK’s second largest by market value, said sales activity fell by 50% in December but said it had been an encouraging start to the year.

The company reported a considerable increase in underlying profits for 2010 after turnover rose by 10% to £1.57 billion.

Furthermore, completions were up to 9,384 in 2010 - compared with 8,976 the previous year.

Commenting, the company said: “It is too early in the New Year to assess the likely outcome of the forthcoming spring sales season.

“However, we believe that prospective purchasers who may have postponed visits to our developments due to the harsh weather conditions prior to the year-end will return during the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Persimmon has announced that its chairman John White is planning to step down from the role in April after more than 30 years with the company.

He is set to be replaced by Rothschild investment banker Nicholas Wrigley, who has been on the Persimmon board for more than four years.

In related news today, the Halifax revealed UK house prices fell by 1.3% last month compared with November.

The latest house price fall takes the average cost of a UK home to £162,435, the Halifax said.

According to the lender, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, house prices are now 1.6% lower than a year ago.

House prices came under pressure last year as a high level of instructions outstripped buyer demand.

The prediction for house prices in 2011 is for a slight fall as demand for housing is expected to stay weak as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the Government’s massive spending cuts.

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