A HOUSEBUILDER says it is creating North-East jobs to meet rising buyer demand.

Persimmon wants site engineers and managers, designers and quantity surveyors to capitalise on increased sales.

The York-based company, which is one of the UK's largest homebuilders, also wants apprentices to form its next generation of workers.

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Bosses say the jobs are based across Newcastle and Teesside.

The move comes after the firm revealed it has sold more than 5,000 homes under the Government's Help to Buy scheme since its launch last April.

The company has about 400 active sites in the UK, with developments in Shildon, Spennymoor and Coundon, near, Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

John Eynon, Persimmon Homes North-East's deputy managing director, said buyers' confidence was galvanising the industry.

He said: “We have actively been recruiting since January for a number of positions and are now focusing on school leavers to fill apprentice positions.

“Visitor levels to our sites are up ten per cent compared with this period last year and our weekly private sales rate per site for the first 15 weeks of 2014 is 25 per cent ahead of 2013.

“Nationally, we already have about 7,200 forward sales into the private sale market for 2014, which is 38 per cent higher than in 2013.

“In this region, Help to Buy is providing a welcome support to people who have struggled to get finance for a home in recent years.”

Persimmon, which trades as Charles Church and Westbury Partnerships, said current total forward sales stand at £1.87bn for this year, a 35 per cent rise on a year earlier.

It said it sold 5,000 new homes to customers in England using mortgages associated with the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme, which offers equity loans on new builds to help buyers secure properties with a five per cent deposit.

A further 600 homes have been sold in Scotland and Wales to customers using similar mortgage products.