- House builder Persimmon said customer enquiries during the UK's Covid-19 lockdown had remained at 'good levels', providing some encouragement for resilience of demand as it reopens building sites from this week.

In a trading update for the year to date, the company said that up until the lockdown took effect, its average private sales rate per site was up about 10% on-year.

The current forward sales position, including legal completions taken to date in 2020, was £2.4bn, down from £2.7bn on-year.

Chief executive Dave Jenkinson said the company's strong financial position meant it could retain all of its staff on full pay, without recourse to government financial assistance.

'The government has been clear that it wants the UK's housebuilders to get back to building and this week we have started the phased process of getting back to work safely on site in order to deliver the new homes the country needs,' Jenkinson said.

The average private selling price of a new home in Persimmon's forward order book was about £244,500, up from £237,850 on-year.

The company had last week announced that it had commenced a phased restart to site works, will abiding by social distancing measures.

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