British housebuilding company Persimmon have announced that they have amassed enough land to build more than 100,000 homes over the coming years; now all they need is policy certainty!
In their latest full year report, Persimmon said that their land holdings now total 17,000 acres, on which it can build over 100,000 homes.
Their output increased last year, with legal completions up from 11,528 in 2013 to 13,509 in 2014 (a 17% increase.) They intend to keep the growth going into this year, with plans to begin construction on 400 active sites throughout 2015.
The firm also suggested that growth in the housebuilding sector is reliant on much-needed policy certainty, regardless of the outcome of the approaching general election. Policy certainty is “a key ingredient in supporting the required level of confidence that the housebuilding industry needs to continue to increase its output.”
Persimmon claims that reform of the National Planning Policy Framework and the extension of the Help to Buy scheme boosted their results last year. The firm experienced a 39% jump in pre-tax profit in 2014 to £467m, up from £337.1m, while revenue increased 23% to £2.6bn, up from £2.1bn.
Persimmon’s average selling price increased to £190,533 from £180,941 in 2013 and its underlying operating margin increased to 18.4%.
The housebuilders also said the boost in housing activity in 2014 has increased competition for materials and skilled site labour, a side effect that they plan to tackle by increasing apprenticeships, graduate trainee schemes and to train up former armed forces personnel under their ‘Combat to Construction’ programme.
Chairman of Persimmon, Nicholas Wrigley said “we have had an encouraging start to 2015 and experienced a solid opening period to the spring season with current total forward sales of £1,490m, 5% ahead of the previous year. Despite some uncertainty arising from the General Election in May, the ongoing gradual improvement in the UK economy and increasing mortgage lender support provides a supportive backdrop for the new homes market.”