Housebuilder’s recent results showed dip in profit and turnover 

Redrow made the “right decision” to leave the capital after the pandemic, the firm’s chief executive has said.

The housebuilder announced in June 2020 that it would drastically scale back its London operations after the covid-19 lockdown saw its completed sales slump by nearly 40% in half a year.


The 4,000-home Colindale scheme will soon be the housebuilder’s only site in the capital

Speaking after the release of Redrow’s results for the six months to 1 January 2023 last week, which showed a 2.4% decline in pre-tax profit, chief executive Matthew Pratt insisted the company had made the correct call.

“We made the right decision and it wasn’t just covid that really did it,” he said.

“It was after covid that the decision was made but, ultimately, we made the decision to come out of the city for several reasons – it was capital intense [and] it is very risky.”

He added that it was difficult for housebuilders to differentiate themselves in the London market because the building types are so similar.

“We focus as a business on differentiating ourselves and we couldn’t really do that,” he said.

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The change in strategy saw the FTSE 250 firm pull out of a 1,000-home estate regeneration project in Wandsworth and is now close to having completed its withdrawal from the capital.

“We have exited practically all the buildings now – we did a bulk deal completion in January […], we have got a few, probably 12 plots, left in another block and then the rest is Colindale.”

The Colindale Gardens scheme in north London, which has the green light from the Greater London Authority for 4,000 homes, will eventually be Redrow’s only site in the capital with Pratt saying it would likely take another seven years to complete.