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Prices appear to be stabilising

PUBLISHED: 09:30 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 July 2010

HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon yesterday offered fresh evidence that the worse of the property downturn in East Anglia may be over by reporting rising sales and "no significant reductions" in house prices in the last three months.

HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon yesterday offered fresh evidence that the worse of the property downturn in East Anglia may be over by reporting rising sales and “no significant reductions” in house prices in the last three months.

Persimmon said house sales were up across the country compared to last year and that prices had “stabilised”.

The firm's Anglia arm - which covers Norfolk and Suffolk - revealed it was now back in the market to buy land for housing development and had just started work on a new development in Lowestoft.

Persimmon Anglia said it had taken on six new recruits since the start of the year and expected to recruit a further six in the second half of the year.

The group's Charles Church brand said it had sold 100 apartments at the former Norfolk and Norwich hospital site since the beginning of the year - with another 130 yet to be sold.

Andrew Fuller, Persimmon Anglia's managing director, said: "Despite concerns surrounding the state of the housing market, sales and completions in the region have dramatically improved since January this year compared with the same period in 2008.

"Prices do appear to have now stabilised, with no significant reductions in the last three months and our cancellation rate is at an historic low at about seven per cent.

"Despite the downturn in the market last year, all of the developments in the region have remained open and have continued to sell. Business has increased to the extent that we have recruited new staff during May and June and anticipate further recruitment during the latter half of 2009."

Persimmon Anglia has developments off the Newmarket Road in Norwich, Ipswich, Harleston, Long Stratton, Sudbury, Rendlesham and Barham.

Nationwide, during the six months to June 30, Persimmon completed 4,006 homes and generated revenues of about £625m, down from £998m in June 2008 after the group experienced a 4pc fall in prices.

The company has about 390 sales outlets, compared with 420 in January. Forward sales revenues at the start of the second half of the year were £700m, against £458m at January 1.

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