BERKELEY and Crest Nicholson are shifting from traditional house building to focus on urban regeneration.
Berkeley is returning £12 per share to each investor over the next six years by selling half its 26,654 plot landbank, as urban regeneration will tie up less land.
Managing director Tony Pidgley said: 'We intend to concentrate on selected large-scale urban regeneration projects, moving on from our traditional house building heritage.'
Berkeley sold 3,805 homes in the year to April 2004, which is 261 homes up on a year ago but at lower prices.
Operating profits dipped £12.9 million to £199.1 million.
Crest Nicholson is to concentrate on building more affordable housing after sales from this area rocketed to £40.5 million in the six months to April 2004 from £8 million in 2003.
Unveiling a £4 million rise in group pretax profits to £36 million, Crest chief executive John Callcutt explained: 'We see the future in urban regeneration and need to adjust our business. Around 60 per cent of developable land is controlled directly or indirectly by Government and we've got to meet their sustainability agenda.
'If we do, there's a huge number of plots available.'
Having sold contracting arm Pearce last year, Crest will not return to this field but will recruit more staff and form partnerships with local authorities to build private and social housing.
Mr Callcutt added: 'Construction skills and the ability to control big contracts are going to be ever more important.'
Of the 1,055 homes sold by Crest, 312 were affordable housing - up from 64 a year ago.