PERSIMMON said it has now sold more than 5600 houses through the Help to Buy scheme.

The company said around 5000 of those were in England, where the government backed support has been available for a year, with a further 600 across Scotland and Wales, where the scheme was introduced later.

The continuing surge in the housing market appears to be continuing with Persimmon stating its weekly private sales rate in the first 15 weeks of the year was running 25% ahead of the comparable period in 2013.

Loading article content

That means the business has total forward sales revenue of £1.87 billion which is 35% greater than the £1.38bn it reported last year.

Average prices have nudged upwards 3% to £200,400 while the 7,200 private homes it has already sold is a 38% increase on 2013.

Visitor levels to its sites have risen by 10% while cancellation rates of 14% continue to run at historically low levels.

At the moment Persimmon is trading from 395 sites around the UK with 75 of 90 new outlets it expected to open in the first half of 2014 already up and running.

Persimmon said: "We remain confident of delivering further growth in the number of new homes legally completed for 2014.

"The recently announced extension of Help to Buy from March 2016 to March 2020 provides welcome support to potential new home purchasers for this additional four year period.

"As a result, and with the support of the mortgage lending industry, housebuilders have the opportunity to continue to increase the industry's development commitments."