Persimmon expects to build 10,500 homes in 2024

UK housebuilder Persimmon has said it is on track to build between 10,000 and 10,500 homes this year as the property market continues to recover.

In January-March the company completed 1,027 homes, slightly below the 1,136 completed in the same period a year ago.

Its current forward sales position reached £1.75bn, an increase from last year’s figure of £1.69bn. 

Persimmon’s private forward order book is up 18% on the prior year to £1.14bn, with an average selling price of around £283,000 — up 6% since the start of the year.

“Our first quarter performance was in line with expectations, and we saw an improvement in sales rates alongside firm pricing,” said chief executive Dean Finch. He added that trading in recent weeks has been “encouraging”, with robust visitor numbers and enquiries.

Looking ahead, Persimmon said that its performance in the first half will be affected by embedded build cost inflation and lower average selling prices, as reflected in the forward order book at the start of the year. This trend is expected to reverse in the second half, given the increase in the average selling price in the current forward order book and broadly neutral build cost inflation since the start of the year.

Operating margin for the full year is expected to be in line with last year.