More evidence that recovery is taking place is confirmation from Persimmon and Lovell that they are reopening their sites. In a market update from Persimmon, they announced plans to phase the reopening of their sites where the Construction Leadership Council´s safe site-operating procedures can be followed.
Although Lovell´s sales centres and showrooms are still closed, they stated that they have already stated to phase the reopening of their sites in line with social distancing measures. This follows announcements from other house builders such as Taylor Wimpey and Vistry that they have already initiated the reopening of their sites.
David Jenkinson, Persimmon chief executive said: “The UK Government has been very clear on the importance of the construction sector to the UK economy and its desire to see activity continue through the current period of crisis, provided appropriate public-health measures are adopted.
“Persimmon’s strong financial liquidity has enabled us to maintain our operational capability through this period by supporting all our colleagues on full pay, which will allow us to reopen sites swiftly, and emerge from the shutdown well-prepared and ready to deliver the new homes the country needs, aided by our strong work in progress position.”
This follows previous actions that were taken in response to Covid-19 outbreak earlier in April when non-executive directors and the executive made the decision to forgo their bonuses and reduce their own salaries by 20%.
Significant delays in completions, increases in cancellations and slowdowns in the supply chain for materials have all contributed to an uncertain future for many housebuilders who are trying to get operations back to running and forecasted profits for the current financial year have taken a downturn as reported by Berkeley Group who have slashed £80m from their projected profit from £555m to around £475m.