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Home sales set to bounce back for Britain's biggest homebuilder

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Britain's biggest homebuilder, Persimmon, says sales reservations have recovered strongly since the government eased its lockdown measures.

[LONDON] Britain's biggest homebuilder, Persimmon, says sales reservations have recovered strongly since the government eased its lockdown measures.

The rebound comes after the government effectively froze the housing market for about six weeks by halting viewings and telling people to stay at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The market has been gradually reopening after restrictions on home viewings were eased in May. Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday slashed sales tax on properties in an effort to further boost activity.

The company's average weekly net private sales reservations since mid-May were 30 per cent higher than a year earlier, Persimmon said in a statement on Thursday. Its total order book is now 15 per cent higher than a year earlier, with forward sales of £1.86 billion (S$3.27 billion).

Still, while customers are returning, there's a lot of ground to make up.

Persimmon's total home sales in the six months through June were just 4,900, down more than 35 per cent from a year earlier, according to the statement. Revenue for the half year have slumped by about 32 per cent from the year earlier period.

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