David Ritchie will remain with Bovis until the end of February 2017 to smooth the transition to his successor, whoever that should be.
His departure announcement comes on the back of a profits warning last week.
Finance director Earl Sibley, 44, has been named interim chief executive and put in charge of the process of finding a permanent successor, which is expected to take several months.
Still only 47, Mr Ritchie joined Bovis Homes in 1998 as group financial controller. He became finance director in 2002 and CEO in 2008.
On his decision to leave, he said: "It has been a privilege to serve Bovis Homes as its chief executive over the last eight years as the group has doubled in size and delivered record profits. I believe now is the right time for someone new to lead the group into its next phase of development. I have spent over 18 years working for this great company and I wish Bovis Homes every success in the future."
Chairman Ian Tyler said: “During his time as chief executive, the group successfully navigated the housing market recession and has grown rapidly since 2009. David was instrumental in preparing the group for growth and then implementing the new strategy. We wish David the very best for the future and every success in his next venture."
In a trading update last week, Bovis Homes said that although its 2016 annual revenues would top £1bn for the first time, the operating profit margin would be down on 2015.