Persimmon’s 2013 results published today show legal completions were up 16% to 11,528 (2012: 9,903). Operating margins also rose 16%, while forward sales increased 41% on a year ago to more than £1.4bn.

Average selling prices were 4% higher to £181,861. Second-half build rates were 30% higher than the first of 2013, as Persimmon cranked up operations in response to increased customer demand resulting from improved mortgage lending, the introduction of Help to Buy and better levels of consumer confidence.

“The group entered 2014 with a very strong forward order book and the early weeks of the spring selling season have been encouraging, with our weekly private sales rate per site being 22% ahead of last year for the first eight weeks,” said group chairman Nicholas Wrigley.

“We anticipate a further year of encouraging sales growth in 2014.” Increasing use of the timber frame construction solution manufactured by Persimmon’s Space4 factory in Castle Bromwich has helped the group significantly increase build volumes.

Space4 output grew 27% in 2013 to more than 4,200 new home kits (2012: 3,310 kits) as Persimmon sought to capture the build efficiencies of timber frame, improvements in resource planning and shorter customer lead times.

“We are encouraged by the responsiveness of the Space4 factory to our higher build volumes and anticipate further increases in Space4 output to support the group’s growth over the coming years,” Persimmon said.

“The Space4 facility currently has capacity to produce 8,000 timber frame kits annually, which offers significant future potential.”