Persimmon announced yesterday that sales volumes since the beginning of the year have been better than expected.

The company, relegated from the FTSE 100 just before Christmas, said it currently had about 6,500 homes reserved, contracted or legally completed, with total sales revenue of about £960m – down 30% on the same period last year.

It said visitor levels to its sites had continued to be 'resilient', despite being about 15% down on a year ago, while cancellation rates had averaged 16%. The York-based company said that this represented an improvement compared with a year ago, when cancellation rates averaged 35%.

The Times