Housebuilding market study – CMA latest
Earlier this year, the UK’s competition regulator, the CMA, launched its housebuilding market study to look at whether there are any concerns in relation to competition and consumer law.
In this article, we take a brief look at the CMA study, although it is in its infancy and there is still much more work that needs to be done.
Background of the housebuilding market study
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), as the key consumer and competition regulator in the UK, launched its housebuilding market study earlier this year. The study was launched in February 2023, and invitations for commentary were issued to interested parties for responses at the end of March.
The key scope of the study is about concerns that have been raised in relation to the availability and costs of housing in the UK. In particular, concerns have been raised about whether builders are delivering homes that people need quickly enough and on a sufficient enough scale.
In an initial statement from the CMA in respect of the house building market study, CMA Chief Executive, Sarah Cardell, said:
“The quality and cost of housing is one of the biggest issues facing the country. Over the last few years, the CMA delivered real change for leaseholders, with tens of thousands of homeowners receiving refunds after being overcharged unfair ground rents. With that work nearly finished, we’re now looking to probe in more detail two further areas – the housebuilding and the rental sectors.
If there are competition issues holding back housebuilding in Britain then we need to find them. But we also need to be realistic that more competition alone won’t unlock a housebuilding boom. In the same vein, we want to explore the experiences people have of the rental sector and whether there are issues here that the CMA can help with.”
Primary focuses in relation to the study involve the quality of housing, the management of land, how local authorities oversee the delivery of homes, and innovation in respect of techniques and sustainability of building.
The CMA has also been looking into the rental and landlord market in respect of how that ties in with the matters.
Latest in the market study
In a slightly recent update in respect of the housebuilding market study, the CMA published a long list of “statement of scope responses” from a number of interested parties.
It is key to note that the study remains in its infancy, so there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. As always, the CMA is making no assumptions in respect of whether there has been any actual issues or breaches of competition law.
A vital industry to watch
It goes without saying that this is another key study to watch given that the housing industry is particularly turbulent at the moment. Soaring interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis have significantly reduced the purchasing power of many consumers. Now, more than ever, people are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the housing market, and making the transition from renting to buying has been an incredibly difficult thing to achieve for many people for quite some time.