Persimmon is one of the UK’s largest housebuilders and in 2019 we sold 15,855 homes across the UK. Over the last five years we have opened seven new offices to support our ability to provide new homes and we have increased output significantly. In 2019, 50% of our private new homes were bought by first time buyers and 35% of all private sales were at a price point of less than £200,000. With 3,589 affordable homes, including homes delivered to housing associations and Discounted Open Market Value Housing we are a housebuilder aiming to meet the demands of all communities.
We recognise the demands of society on businesses, and acknowledge there is a balance between meeting the UK’s housing needs and improving our build quality and our customers’ experience. To reflect this, from the start of 2019, the Board made a strategic decision to place the interest of ‘customers before volume’ and focused on delivering rapid change and improvement of its culture and operations. We made significant additional investment in our customer care improvement plan (‘the Plan’), which places the customer at the centre of our business. The Plan is a comprehensive programme of measures to improve the Group’s performance on all aspects of build quality and customer experience pre and post completion of each new home. Supported by investment in digital technology, it focuses on our build and inspection procedures and a team of Independent Quality Inspectors will assess each key stage of our construction process to provide increased levels of quality and safety assurance.
In April 2019 the Board, led by our Chairman Roger Devlin, commissioned an Independent Review of Persimmon to assess the effectiveness of the Group’s improvement initiatives to determine whether they would enable the business to deliver consistent high standards of quality, safety and customer service across all of our regions. One of the key recommendations of the Review was to establish a consolidated, consistent Group wide approach to construction ‘the Persimmon Way’. Our Construction Working Group, established in 2019, is developing the Persimmon Way to include external verification and it will be formalised and rolled out throughout 2020.
Chairman, Corporate Responsibility Committee