But housebuilder says it expects to hit target of building 15,000 homes this year

Persimmon has reported a 10% drop in completions for the first half of the year as ‘planning complexity’ slowed the opening of new sites.

The housebuilding giant, in interim results for the six months to 30 June, reported 6,652 completions, down on the 7,406 recorded in the same period last year and fewer than the 7,584 posted in 2019 pre-pandemic.

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Persimmon said planning wrangles dampened the number of outlets it opened in the first half

Persimmon also reported an 8% fall in turnover to £1.69bn and an 8.4% drop in pre-tax profit to £439.7m.

Persimmon opened 60 new outlets – sites where homes are ready to sell – in the first half of the year, missing its original target of 75.

It said: “Delays and increasing complexity in the planning system are impacting our ability to open new outlets as promptly as we would like.”

But it said it is confident of opening around 70 outlets in the next six months, hitting a target of growing sites by 10%. It said its rebuilding its outlet position’ after a land-buying pause three years ago.

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It said: “We re-iterate our year end volume expectations of delivering 14,500 to 15,000 units with forecast full year profit in line with our expectations.” Last year the housebuilder completed 14,551 homes.

It also criticised the government’s support package announced last month aimed at alleviating the nutrient pollution regulation crisis that is holding up an estimated 100,000 homes nationwide.

It said: “The government’s recent statement on the issue does not appear to offer the short-term clarity the industry hoped for, so we continue to see around 1,500 of our plots affected, a number that is likely to grow until a resolution is found.”

Persimmon said it has experienced cost inflation of around 8% to 10% in the first half of the year but said this has been “largely offset” by increased selling prices. It said its average selling price for private homes increased 3.5% to £267,325.

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