Home Sales Set to Bounce Back for Britain’s Biggest Homebuilder

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Britain’s biggest homebuilder, Persimmon Plc, says sales reservations have recovered strongly since the government eased its lockdown measures.

The rebound comes after the government effectively froze the housing market for about six weeks by halting viewings and telling people to stay at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The market has been gradually re-opening after restrictions on home viewings were eased in May. Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday slashed sales tax on properties in an effort to further boost activity.

The company’s average weekly net private sales reservations since mid-May were 30% higher than a year earlier, Persimmon said in a statement on Thursday. Its total order book is now 15% higher than a year earlier, with forward sales of 1.86 billion pounds ($2.35 billion).

Still, while customers are returning, there’s a lot of ground to make up.

Persimmon’s total home sales in the six months through June were just 4,900, down more than 35% from a year earlier, according to the statement. Revenue for the half year has slumped by about 32% from the year earlier period.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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