Bovis and Redrow axe 40% of workforce

09-07-2008

Bovis and Redrow axe 40% of workforce
Housebuilders Bovis and Redrow have both announced staff cuts of 40 per cent to their businesses as the property market continues to decline.

The job cuts follow announcements from Barratt and Persimmon and add to the 3,000 jobs already lost.

Bovis is closing its eastern office and amalgamating several others, with the loss of around 400 jobs, while Redrow will close two of its ten offices, with the loss of about 350 jobs.

Redrow said net reservation levels in the second half of the financial year were 55 per cent below the level achieved last year and cancellation rates were up to 30 per cent, from 18 per cent last year.

The group legally completed 3,925 new homes, compared to 4,823 last year, at an average selling price of £157,000 – down from £159,900 the previous year.

Rival Bovis said completions were down 32 per cent over the last six months, with the average sales price at £167,500 compared with £189,600 for the first half of 2007.

In a statement, Bovis said: "Against the worst market backdrop that the group has seen for many years, the group has achieved a good quality of profit on those private homes it has sold but has achieved significantly lower volumes of legal completions, largely arising through a severe reduction in mortgage availability caused by the 'credit crunch'."

Redrow was equally gloomy, adding: "The UK housing market continues to be severely affected by the credit squeeze.

"Homebuyer confidence is now also being influenced by concerns about the future for house prices and interest rates.

"As a result, the market for both new and second hand homes has declined rapidly to transaction levels not experienced for very many years with the price of homes now declining."

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