York-based Persimmon has reported a sharp fall in new home completions, with warnings of a “highly uncertain” property market in 2024.

But the major housebuilder says trading and house completions are in line with expectations with prices broadly stable.

House completions in the third quarter fell 37% to 1,439 from 2,270 a year prior. Private home completions were down 35% to 1,234 from 1,894. The current forward sales position contracted 23% to £1.62 billion from £2.09 billion.

The private selling price on completions was up 2% year-on-year in the third quarter at £296,822.


Persimmon expects around 9,500 completions for 2023, down 16% from 11,282 in 2022 and 13% lower than 10,965 in 2021.

Chief Executive Officer Dean Finch said: "We are on track to deliver around 9,500 quality new homes in 2023 with operating profit in line with expectations and at an operating margin similar to the first half.

“While the near term is likely to remain challenging and we remain disciplined on costs, we continue to position the business for growth when the market recovers, as demonstrated by our further progress on planning in the period. The group's national network of outlets providing a high-quality product at a range of attractive prices is a crucial strength in this market."

The company said: "Into 2024, we anticipate market conditions will remain highly uncertain, but we are well positioned with our focus on delivering high quality sustainable homes for our customers at a price they can afford with our Persimmon Homes average selling price about 25% below the national average."

The figures come as the property market shows some signs of recovery.

The Halifax today reported a £3,000 jump in average house prices- the first monthly increase since March- for October, increasing by 1.1% to £281,974 compared with a 0.3% fall in September.

It credited the increase on a low supply of new homes, adding prices were still 3% down on October 2022 and no overall growth is expected until 2025.

Similarly, the Nationwide Building Society last week also recorded a 0.9% rise in house prices over the past month, which it also credited on low housing supply.

Charlie Huggins, Manager of the 'Quality Shares Portfolio' at Wealth Club, said: “New home buyers are clearly exercising greater caution, and frankly who can blame them.

“Mortgage payments for first time buyers have soared over the past 18 months. When combined with the limited availability of high loan to value mortgages and the end of the Help to Buy scheme in England, it’s no surprise that the housing market has seen a marked slowdown.

“How much worse can things get? Well, interest rates are widely considered to have peaked meaning the first interest rate cut is a matter of if not when. It can't come soon enough for Persimmon. And it could mark the beginning of a strong recovery.”