Persimmon reveals Christmas surge in the property market

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The head of housebuilder Persimmon has reported a Christmas surge in the property market as lender Halifax said house prices soared last month. 

Halifax’s latest house price index revealed a surprise 1.7% spike during the month as its economists reported a “substantial gap between demand and supply”.

The average UK house now costs £208,286 and “continuing upward pressure on prices” is likely, the lender said.

The figures came as Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn said sales since the builder’s last update in early November were ahead 20% on the previous year despite an uncertain financial climate and the likelihood of an interest rate rise in 2016. 

He said: “There are all these global concerns going on but if people need to buy a house, then they do. They are getting on with their lives.”

Completed sales for the full year were up 8% to 14,572 homes — slightly ahead of City hopes — pointing the way towards strong annual results next month as margins improved in the second half. Forward sales grew 13% to £1.1 billion.

The shares largely held their own in a falling market, easing 15p lower to 1950p. 

Shore Capital’s Robin Hardy said: “We see the results hitting our slightly above consensus forecast of £601 million in pre-tax profit.”

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January 8, 2016 |
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