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Persimmon halts new starts

Housebuilder Persimmon has postponed starting work on its scheduled new sites after it revealed a slump of 18 per cent in sales volumes this year.

The firm says the uncertainties of the global economy and the UK lending environment make it difficult to predict when the market will improve.

It says: “We are therefore focusing on management of cashflows within the business to ensure that our balance street strength is maintained.”

Assetz chief executive Stuart Law says: “The announcement only supports what I have been saying since last September – developers are not starting work on new sites in the current climate. Persimmon is not the first and will by no means be the last to announce a freeze on new starts. This announcement is likely to be the first in a series of similar admissions across the housebuilding industry.”

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Reduced consumer confidence is having an impact on investment and mortgage sales for advisers at a time when the regulatory burden is increasing.

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