Biggest U.K. Home Builder Says Housing Market Remains Resilient

A sold sign sits on a newly built home at a Persimmon Plc residential construction site in Grays, U.K., on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Persimmon are due to report their first half results on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
A sold sign sits on a newly built home at a Persimmon Plc residential construction site in Grays, U.K., on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Persimmon are due to report their first half results on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Persimmon Plc, the U.K.’s biggest housebuilder, said the long-term outlook for the country’s housing market remained resilient despite the economic gloom and latest national lockdown.

The firm delivered its upbeat assessment as it reported full-year revenue of 3.33 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) in a trading update Wednesday. While that was slightly down on a year earlier, it beat analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

“Despite the impact of the unprecedented events of 2020, the levels of customer interest Persimmon has experienced, particularly through the second half of the year, demonstrate the resilient demand for new homes,” the company said in the statement.

House prices boomed during 2020, reaching a record high in December as a tax cut spurred Brits to upgrade their living situations after months of working from home. Still, some headwinds are looming on the horizon, including the end of a tax perk in April and the scaling back of a government assistance program.

U.K. House Prices Climb to Record as Tax Cut Stokes Market

The housing market is one of the only areas of the economy to remain open in the national lockdown that started last week, with estate agents still operating despite Covid cases soaring across the country.

“On entering the third phase of tighter Covid-19 restrictions, whilst recognizing the commencement of the nation-wide vaccine rollout, the uncertainties surrounding the potential impact of the pandemic remain, particularly with regard to unemployment levels and consumer confidence,” the company said in the statement. “However, we believe that the longer term fundamentals of the U.K. housing market remain resilient.”