Supporting the affordability of new homes for our customers by providing a comprehensive range of selling prices and by exercising strong control over development costs is very important to us.
Persimmon’s strategy is predicated on providing our customers with homes that are affordable, conveniently located and meet their requirements in terms of design and specification. Our geographical reach across the UK has been and will continue to be central to our approach. Over many years we have, as a result of working closely with our customers, local authorities, social housing providers and other stakeholders, developed a unique appreciation of what is required on each of our developments. A benefit of having 29 operating businesses spread across the UK is that our employees live near the developments they are designing and building which means that they have an intimate knowledge of the local economy, demographics and geography.
Close collaboration with the planning authorities in cities, towns or smaller communities is intrinsic to the creation of successful and sustainable developments. By understanding local needs we can refine our plans and ensure the right mix of properties. Before any development we analyse what implications it might have for local infrastructure – such as transport, education, shopping and recreational facilities.
Our land replacement processes focus on acquiring new land in locations which deliver high amenity value to local communities providing great confidence to our customers that they are buying a new home in the right location for their family. Our regional teams work hard to align the type of homes we build with local needs and demands. This drives open market affordability and is reflected in the proportion of smaller houses that we build to accommodate the needs of first time buyers and first time movers. In this way, we seek to maximise affordability within the market without need for public subsidy whilst also supporting those on lower incomes via the provision of affordable housing.
We work in partnership with local Registered Social Housing providers and seek to assist affordability further via our own intermediate form of housing - Discounted Open Market Sale. We provide this without recourse to public subsidy at a percentage discount below open market value, generally around 20 - 30%. This is calculated with reference to local income levels and mortgage multipliers to ensure affordability. The discount remains with the house in perpetuity and with the application of local eligibility criteria gives those within the local community the maximum opportunity to get on the housing ladder where they live. This initiative, added to our market offer, demonstrates how we are seeking to make all our homes more accessible.
To assist buyers navigate the complexities of the mortgage market and provide advice on the various Government schemes designed to make homes more accessible we maintain a panel of recommended independent mortgage advisors. Around 73% of our customers used this facility to purchase their homes from us.
Help to Buy
Since April 2013 we have sold 20,631 homes in England, Scotland and Wales under the Help to Buy scheme (HTB), the Government shared equity loan scheme that makes mortgages more readily available to those who do not have a large deposit. Our HTB sales are around 11% of the total Government HTB sales.1
In 2016, we sold 6,970 homes with a Help to Buy shared equity loan at an average price of £217,898.
Part Exchange & Home Change
We also support existing home owners to achieve their move into a new home by offering our Part Exchange and Home Change schemes. These schemes remove the worries that usually accompany the uncertainties associated with home buying chains. During 2016 around 16% of our private sale customers took advantage of this opportunity to assist their move.
For more information on Help to Buy and other schemes that make it easier for our customers to purchase a property please click here.
Percentage of affordable/social homes as a proportion of total homes sold*
* 2016 figure includes shared equity sales and discount to open market value sales.