UK house building probe

19 March 2008

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is launching a study into the country's UK£ 20 billion (€ 29 billion) per year residential construction market. The Government body, which enforces competition and consumer laws in the UK, will look specifically at the issues of land use, planning permission and customer satisfaction.

The OFT says it has been monitoring the house building sector for several years, and is concerned that the market is not working well for consumers. There are specific concerns that the lack of supply of houses is hindering competition, and that customer satisfaction in the industry is poor.

The UK residential building industry's principal trade association is the Home Builders Federation (HBF). Chef executive Stewart Baselely said, “I am confident that on the issues of effective use of land and customer satisfaction the home building industry will be given a clean bill of health. The study will give us further opportunity to show that the real problem is the shortage of land with planning permission for much-needed new home.”

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