Builder of the Gherkin to move into house market

NORDIC building firm Skanska launched a UK housebuilding arm yesterday in an effort to cash in on what it sees as a gap in supply.

The builder of the Gherkin and Heron Tower skyscrapers said it hopes to sell 800 homes a year by 2015.

“The financial crisis and the dramatic decline in the housing market have now created excellent opportunities for entry as a residential developer,” Skanska said in a statement.

The company, which has large housbuilding operations throughout Europe, said it also plans to enter the Polish residential market.

British property builders including Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon have all voiced concerns about the strength of the recovery in the UK property market in recent months.