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How Help to Buy made Persimmon London's biggest housebuilder

Government support pumped-up sales volumes and aided prices. What could its limitation – and eventual closure – mean for the income potential of London's largest housebuilder?
How Help to Buy made Persimmon London's biggest housebuilder

It is telling that Persimmon (PSN) is one of only two UK-listed housebuilders to reinstate dividend payments in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The FTSE 100 group has been a dividend king – crowned with the help of the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Investors have been drawn to the bumper payouts on offer in recent years, which by the start of 2020 had propelled the shares to almost treble the value seven years earlier, when the scheme was introduced.

The government support scheme was introduced in then-chancellor George Osborne’s 2013 Budget, aimed at improving peoples’ chances of home ownership. At the time, the Conservative government was presiding over a stagnating housing market, with huge numbers of the population struggling to get onto the housing ladder.

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