Persimmon Homes is the latest housebuilder to report a rise in new homes sales, thanks in part to the introduction of the FirstBuy shared equity scheme, which aims to help first-time buyers secure an affordable mortgage.
The government-backed initiative has enabled more first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder. Persimmon said it had a shared equity interest in 30% of its first-half of 2012 new homes sales, with 220 new homes sold through the NewBuy scheme, which encourages 95% loan-to-value mortgages.
Aside from building new homes suited for first-time buyers, the company has also increased the supply of family homes in affluent areas, resulting in a 5% rise in private reservations in the first half of this year compared to same period in 2011. Consequently, Persimmon saw a 7% increase in average selling prices to £171,206 with completions up 6% to 4,712 new homes.
But despite the rise in new homes sales, Persimmon is calling on mortgage lenders to relax lending criteria in order to further boost demand.
"We anticipate continued firm underlying demand for new homes but this will remain constrained by the low level of mortgage availability," said Persimmon chairman Nicholas Wrigley.