Surge in homes market opens door to 96% rise at Persimmon

Persimmon, Britain's third-largest housebuilder, yesterday painted a bright picture of prospects for the housing market across Britain, despite recent mixed signals from leading mortgage lenders. "We remain very confident of the long-term future potential for housebuilding," said Duncan Davidson, chairman.

"We anticipate that in due course the better trading conditions which we are experiencing in south-east England will spread to all our 16 operating companies across the UK." Average house prices should rise by 7 per cent to pounds 80,000 this year, Mr Davidson added.

His forecast is in line with that of Halifax Building Society, which last week reported sharp fluctuations month to month in the price of new housing. Both Halifax and Nationwide said average house prices rose in February after falling in January.

Mr Davidson was also sanguine about the prospect of a new Labour government on the housing market: "There may be a couple of quiet weeks immediately preceding and after the general election, but overall I don't think any change of government will deter buyers from entering the market."

Mr Davidson's comments came as Persimmon reported a 96 per cent rise in pre-tax profits before exceptional items to pounds 36.3m for the year to December. The improvement was helped by the first-time inclusion of Ideal Homes, bought from Trafalgar House a year ago for pounds 177m, which contributed sales of pounds 164m.

Mr Davidson said Ideal Homes had been immediately integrated into Persimmon and the benefits were already being realised.

A pounds 3.2m charge was taken to cover the cost of closing Ideal's head office and six subsidiaries as well as rebranding all its sites.

The Ideal Homes deal also helped increased the size of Persimmon's land bank from 23,600 plots to 27,030 - enough to meet the group's building requirements for the next four to five years.

Persimmon, which specialises in three- and four-bedroom houses, expects the number of completions this year to rise by about 10 per cent to 6,600 houses.

Stripping out Ideal Homes, turnover rose from pounds 249m to pounds 287m. Earnings per share before one-off items advanced by two-thirds to 16.6p. The dividend was held at 9.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss