Homes builder in Peterborough says demand for new houses is growing despite referendum turmoil

A leading housebuilder has shrugged off the uncertainty of the referendum saying the demand for new homes is continuing to grow.

Tuesday, 5th July 2016, 4:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:05 pm
Persimmon Homes East Midlands' deputy managing director, Simon McDonald. Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography RMG Photography Tel : 07798 758711

Persimmon Homes says it has enjoyed a strong start to the year.

Simon McDonald, deputy managing director for Peterborough-based Persimmon Homes East Midlands, said sales had been good during the run-up to the referendum but it was too early to judge the impact of the Brexit vote.

He said: “It remains too soon to judge the effect that the result of the EU referendum will have on the UK new homes market.

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“Negotiating an exit from the European Union could be a long and complex process and it is difficult today to predict how and over what timetable this process will evolve.

“Against this background, Persimmon has a strong balance sheet and a clear strategy, and we remain focused on building the new homes around the country that Britain needs.”

His comments came as the company issued a trading statement ahead of its half year results, which will be released on August 23.

Despite a period of uncertainty leading up to the EU referendum, the company continued to take good level of sales through May and June with private sales being ahead of last year.

Demand for new houses remained strong with good affordability, particularly for first time buyers, supported with Help to Buy.

Mr McDonald said: “Low borrowing costs and healthy labour market conditions have helped support consumer confidence and in the first half of 2016 our new home legal completions rose by six per cent to 7,238.

“We have been encouraged by our private sale reservation rate, which is currently running four per cent ahead of the same period last year.

“We’re also pleased to report that visitors to our sites continue to run ahead of last year’s levels by eight per cent.

He added: “In the second half of the year, construction will start on a further 100 new developments across England, Wales and Scotland to meet the ever-increasing demand for quality new homes.

“Locally this will include Fenstanton, Sleaford, Yaxley and Narborough.”