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LONDON-Britain’s biggest housebuilder, Persimmon, says it sees no end to the house price boom. House prices will carry on rising at least until the end of 2002 according to chairman, Duncan Davidson, with cheap mortgages and a shortage of land buyers are ‘queuing up’ for Persimmon’s homes. Lack of supply remains one of the key forces driving the price of homes upwards. ‘The industry is only building 150,000 houses a year compared with 200,000 in the 1980s,’ says Davidson

The average price of a Persimmon home jumped 15% to £119,645 in the six months to June, which chief executive John White put down half to the delivery of better quality homes and the other half to market conditions. Persimmon’s first-half profits rose 42% to £68.7 million although it is caught in a redundancy row at Beazer Group, the rival it bought in March for £610 million. Of 560 people made redundant, 25 have filed claims to industrial tribunals, claiming their severance pay was too low.

‘We believe we handled the matter fairly,’ says White. ‘Some people lost their jobs and they blame Persimmon. My view is that it was the Beazer management of the past that was to blame.’ The figures beat expectations and the group is on target to bring margins above 15% by year end.

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