- Housebuilder Persimmon said trading over the summer weeks was in line with expectations, in a trading update for the third quarter, covering the period from 1 July 2019 to 6 November 2019.

The company reported the 'usual pick-up' in customer activity as it moved into the autumn season and said consumer confidence had remained resilient, 'despite the continued uncertainties around the timing and nature of the UK's withdrawal from the EU'.

Trading was resilient through the second half of the year, with the group's average weekly private sales reservation rate per site of 0.67 in line with last year.

Persimmon said it is now fully sold up for the current year and has around £950m of forward sales reserved beyond 2019, while it confirmed sales prices remained firm across its regional markets.

In the first half of the year the group adopted an approach of releasing homes for sale only at a more advanced stage of construction, which saw total legally completed sales volumes reduce by 6% year-on-year to 7,584 homes.

Persimmon said it currently expected this approach to result in a similar situation in the second half of the year, but that second half volumes will be greater than for the first half, reflecting the seasonality of the market.

Group chief executive Dave Jenkinson said: 'Persimmon's top priority is the delivery of higher levels of quality and customer service through the implementation of its detailed customer care improvement plan.

'Central to this plan is putting customers before volume, with sales volumes in the first half of the year being 6% lower than last year, together with making significant additional investments in both our annual customer care resources, by c. £15m each year, and in the level of the group's work in progress, which amounted to c. £140m at 30 June 2019.'

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