2010 Persimmon Homes Blog

If one reads the newspapers over the last year we see some UK Builders Enjoyed in 2011, Record Profit Margins (%), and then some builders in 2012 went on to annouce Record Profits.

Then one reads how in 2011 the UK had over 400,000 planning approved new residential properties with land banks, which could have been used to reduce the so called lack of supply.

But then one also read the builders wanted softer planning processes to make it easier for them. Funnily reading one UK Builders internal presentation for Directors and Investors etc, it lists the profitable areas in the UK, which allow greater prices to be charged, and thus greater profit margins – surpringly this is now where new developments are often focussed. Worringly the same presentation shows an illustration of a balance scale, with PROFIT on one side and VOLUME on the other. One presumes this means when the builder reduces volume of new homes built (controls supply by carefully limiting production) then profit increases (higher selling price, against cost to build).

At the same time one reads the UK Builders want financial help from the UK Government, and now we have the latest Funding For Lending and Equity Loan Schemes. Buy a new home and you might enjoy 20% deposit loan provided by UK taxpayers. Now should you default on the loan, or house prices return to more normal (lower) levels, then the mortgage provider is less woried about a forced sale, as 20% is covered by the UK Taxpayer, and 5% by the home owner, leaving only a 75% exposure for the lender (seems a great business to be in, I’m sure other business would like to enjoy taxpayer backed assistance to cover exposure to risk).

The big problem we had trying to buy a new home (excluding quality issues and unfavourable contracts) was the overvaluation which made it a higher risk for the lenders. One wonders how many mortgage refusals were based on the valuation being over optimistic rather than the perception of the 10% deposit being the issue? But then with limited controlled supply by builders, asking prices are naturally going to be pushed up, with benefits for the builders profit margins.

Seems to me the builders are having their cake and eating it, and should prices realise more realistic levels (or a further dip in the economy), then the taxpayer will end up paying for the builders tea party.

Sadly, in the meantime savers, pensioners and those on low incomes are paying the price of the government/builders/bank strategy, with high inflation (increasing prices and cost of living) and reduced savings rates and annuity payments.

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Charles Church, part of Persimmon Group plc, has a history of noisy, unlevel or bouncy floors dating back to the 1990’s. In this Telegraph article concerning Clearwater Place in Surrey, a Charles Church development of 46 town houses and apartments, the article says “Floors throughout the development were found to be dropping, creaking and off-level“.

Put simply, the advice given to us from engineers when designing and constructing a new home, was to upgrade from the cheapest joists spaced at the furthest distance. Out of over 25 new homes we have recently viewed, only 1 had floors without these problems. Looking at pre-owned homes built in the last 10 years, the floor problems had developed (with passage of time and foot traffic) to be even worse than we’d expected.

If you have purchased a new home from Persimmon Homes, or Charles Church, you can find information and advice from other home owners and experts on snagging etc. at www.Snagging.org and at the forums.

An interesting post one found when searching for customer reviews on Charles Church and Persimmon Homes, using google. I was also interested in NHBC and how they work with the builder on ‘raising standards’ and ‘protecting consumers’.

I found an interesting post on Block and Beam Flooring Regulations, and other factors (including sound proofing and regulations) troubling a new home owner. They have been pursuing issues with the builder directly and with NHBC. An interesting if not untypical read.

I read an interesting (and I felt typical) view of the problems with buying a new home from Charles Church at the Charles Church and Persimmon Homes Owners Forum.

Definately get everything in writing, and then from our experience expect a lengthy fight trying to get them to honour. For the things you don’t have in writing it might be best to chalk those up to experience, having seen first hand what Charles Church spoken ‘word’ is worth.

We see quality of contruction and customer service as the biggest and continuing problems with Charles Church. We found poor customer service and low quality of workmanship to be a repreated theme throughout our years trying to persuade Charles Church to do the right thing and honour their warranty.

One internet site, titled ‘Charles Church Sucks’ , lists issues with a new home from Charles Church, with the site poster stating problems ‘left me disillusioned and furious’. His advice was to ‘think twice’ before buying a new home from Charles Church.

We can fully relate to the upset Charles Church quality problems and poor customer service have caused us to feel. How many years before the simple and complicated problems they left are fixed. From a simple leak to the major work they need to undertake, years have passed and progress is very tardy, if even existent.


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  • Bob: Perhaps the New Home Builders are enjoying the econmic climate a bit TOO MUCH :(
  • M. Farley: Walked around a new Charles Church Show Home last week, and found same issues discussed above, noisy bouncy floors. when will they fix this? From read
  • Debbie Brown: Neat idea! Can't beat something that makes cake easier to eat and carry.