Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plans to cut 900 jobs in its UK operations following a "significant downturn" in the organisation's major markets.
Following a period of drastically lower weekly sales rates, along with falling average selling prices than in recent years, the organisation confirmed today it will close 13 of its 39 regional offices.
The situation is also unlikely to improve in the short term, according to a trading statement released this morning.
Taylor Wimpey expects the British market to remain weak through 2008 at the least, while the American market, which the company feels is returning to stability, will not see any material recovery until 2009 at the earliest.
However, in the longer term there is likely to be a recovery.
"We believe that both the UK and North American housing markets remain attractive in the long-term due to positive demographic trends in both markets, constrained land supply in the UK and the ability, in an improved market, to increase volumes profitably in the US," Taylor Wimpey said in the statement.
The company had nets debts at the end of June of approximately £1.7 billion largely following the merger between former rivals Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey in July 2007.
The housebuilder has also failed to secure the reported £500 million investment sought earlier this week, and confirmed in a statement from the organisation on June 30th.
While a number of potential investors have been contacted with a view to raising further equity capital, Taylor Wimpey has been unable to secure a "satisfactory" deal under present market conditions.
The news comes as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(Rics) reports residential property has led the sharpest fall in UK construction since 1995.
Shares in Taylor Wimpey fell 48 per cent - to 30.75 pence this morning, following the announcement.