Adds share move, details on Vistry
March 3 (Reuters) – British housebuilder Vistry Group VTVY.L plans to cut around 200 jobs, Bloomberg reported on Friday, as the UK property market braces for a downturn amid falling house prices and lower demand because of high borrowing costs.
The UK housing market has slowed markedly in recent months as higher mortgage rates and broader economic concerns drive homebuyers away and falling house prices squeeze margins.
Vistry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The London-listed company has become one of the largest UK housebuilders with its 1.25 billion pound ($1.50 billion) purchase of Countryside CSPC.L last year.
Vistry is weighing as many as 19 job cuts in each of its business units, with around 200 job cuts expected, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the plans.
The firm has begun redundancy consultations with affected employees in its roughly 5,000-strong workforce, the report said quoting the people, who provided the information on the condition of anonymity.
Major British housebuilders Persimmon PSN.L and Taylor Wimpey have already flagged the persistent slowdown in the housing sector with the duo forecasting a sharp fall in their annual homebuilding targets.
On Thursday, FTSE 100 .FTSE UK homebuilder Taylor Wimpey said it was cutting jobs.
In September, Vistry agreed to buy Countryside in a highly leveraged deal to bolster its Partnership business, which works with local authorities and housing associations to build affordable homes. The deal was completed in November.
Vistry stock hit an intra-day high of 789.5 pence in afternoon trade on a day the housebuilders’ index .FTNMX402020 gained nearly a percent en route to snap two sessions of losses.
($1 = 0.8333 pounds)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sharon Singleton)
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