Reservations are up 12% year on year

Housebuilder Persimmon has seen a pick up in reservations since the start of 2011 and has an order book similar in size to this time in 2010.

In an interim management statement released on Thursday, it said that sales reservations since the start of 2011 were 12% higher year on year.

The firm’s order book, including legal completions for this year, now stands at £1.14bn, which is comparable with the same period last year.

The markets reacted moderately to the announcement, with the firm’s share rising by 4.8p over the day to 469.6p.

At the start of the year, Persimmon said it had been hit by snowy weather and the government’s austerity drive, and that its order book had been more than 10% lower than the previous year.

It now said that it expected more sales in the second half of 2011 and for average prices to rise due to a change in the mix of homes it sold.

Persimmon also welcomed the government’s £250m pot of money to help first time buyers, announced in the Budget last month.

“Recent government initiatives announced in the Budget in respect of planning changes and support for first time buyers are helpful and,while an improvement in mortgage supply would improve market conditions, we are operating successfully,” the company said.