Persimmon forward sales slip to £2.4bn

York-based house building giant Persimmon plc said on Wednesday its current forward sales position to date in 2020 is £2.4 billion compared to £2.7 billion last year.

Persimmon said the average private selling price of a Persimmon new home in its forward order book is £244,500, up from £237,850 last year.

Persimmon CEO Dave Jenkinson said: “In these unprecedented times we continue to be guided by our clear purpose of delivering long term sustainable returns for all our stakeholders.

“Focused management of the risks inherent in the housing market cycle has given us the financial strength to respond effectively and responsibly to the crisis and support our customers, our colleagues and suppliers, and the local communities we work in across the country, as the UK meets the challenges of the pandemic.

“We recognise the important contribution we make to the economy and wider society, and are determined to play our part. 

“Our strong financial position and liquidity has enabled us to maintain our operational capability by retaining all staff on full pay through this period, without recourse to any Government financial assistance; to offer necessary support to our suppliers, subcontractors and local tradespeople; and to maintain our community and charity programmes, despite the economic shock of COVID-19. 

“Persimmon is responding to the crisis from a position of strength, to the benefit of all its stakeholders; our long-term strategy and business model recognises the cyclical nature of the housing market, minimises financial risk through the cycle, and provides the flexibility needed to manage effectively through this difficult period.

“The Government has been clear that it wants the UK’s housebuilders to get back to building and this week we have started the phased process of getting back to work safely on site in order to deliver the new homes the country needs.”