OFT investigates house building industry

22 June 2007
The house building industry is to come under scrutiny as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launches an investigation today to determine whether it allows sufficient competition and how far the needs of consumers are served.

The investigation will focus on how the experience of acquiring a new-build home could be improved for buyers.

As the biggest single purchase most people will ever make, consumers deserve to have a choice of quality new-build homes and a better buying experience, the OFT argues.

Meanwhile, the time it takes to bring land fit for development to planning permission stage and to actually construct the homes will also be examined.

Improving "customer satisfaction" will be at the core of the probe, the OFT insists, after finding that the £20 billion-yearly UK house building market "may not be working well for consumers".

"For individual house buyers, even low levels of dissatisfaction can translate into very high detriment," commented OFT chief executive John Fingleton.

Meanwhile, property site Primelocation has claimed that affordability is being brought under control in the mainstream property market while 'top-end' properties keep soaring in price.

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