UK's 15th-largest housebuilder will focus instead on social housing

Kier is planning to exit the private housebuilding market, according to chief executive John Dodds.

Dodds told the Financial Times that the group's housing business will now focus on social housing.

John Dodds

“There's a sea change in how we're running the business,” Dodds told the paper. “The traditional model of housebuilding - buying land, putting up a house, selling it on spec - is something that will disappear from our business.”

Prior to the downturn, Kier had been the 15th-largest housebuilder in the UK, building about 2,000 homes a year. In the past two months its housing activity levels have been down by 76%, in line with other developers.

Kier's landbank of 6,000 units is now being examined, possibly with a view to converting it to other use.