More than 1,300 jobs have been cut at housebuilders Persimmon and Kier, can reveal

The UK’s most profitable housebuilder Persimmon will announce next week it has slashed at least 1,000 jobs, while Kier Residential has said it is laying off 60% of its staff.

Mike Farley

The news comes a day after Barratt laid off 1,000 people in response to the collapsing housing market, and two days after Taylor Wimpey announced it had laid off 900 people.

Persimmon’s cuts, which represent one-fifth of the builder’s 5,000-strong workforce, come following a month-long consultation process. When the consultation began the company said only that “several hundred jobs” were at risk.

A source close to the situation said: “Workers have been told around 1,000 jobs will go, and the special projects division will close.”

A spokeswoman for Persimmon declined to comment on the news, saying the company would issue a full trading update next Tuesday.

Meanwhile Kier Residential, part of contractor the Kier Group, said in a statement it is to axe three regional offices at the cost of around 300 jobs. This is on top of the closure of two regional offices in Lincolnshire in May at the cost of 90 jobs.

The move will see the closure of the its Twigden and Bellwinch homes operations in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, and Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. In addition its Scottish operation in Glasgow will also close, leaving the business run from its single head office in Tempsford, Bedfordshire.

The firm said that since the start of the year it has now made 60% of its staff redundant, leaving just 250 still at the firm.

It said: “Unfortunately, the steep and continuing downturn in the housing market has been such that Kier Group believes that this action is necessary in order to ensure a sustainable Residential business for the future. It will, however, endeavour to seek alternative positions within Kier in the new Residential structure or in other Kier companies where possible during the consultation process.”

Persimmon, Redrow, Bovis and Barratt are all due to give trading updates to the stock market in the next few days.

The wave of redundancies follows a fall of 60% in mortgage approvals since the previous year, with the number of new homes started in May falling to its lowest level since the 1991 recession, according to the NHBC.