The OFT has launched a market study into the £20bn per annum UK housebuilding industry. The study will allow the OFT to consider the potential competition and consumer concerns within the market and will focus on two principal areas:
- delivery of housing - whether land which is suitable for development is being effectively brought through to the planning approval stage and whether land with planning permission is being converted effectively into homes, and
- customer satisfaction - the homebuyer’s satisfaction with the properties available
For many people, buying a house is the largest purchase they will ever make and the study will look for ways to improve their experience of buying a new-build home as well as the quality of those homes.
Following the recommendations of the Barker Review of Housing Supply 2004, the OFT has been monitoring the housebuilding market and is concerned that it may not be working well for consumers. The OFT will be working with the industry, and the study will complement other reviews across government to minimise the burden on the sector. The study, however, will not look at the overall question of where development should occur or the environmental impact of new homes.