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Competition watchdog highlights areas for housing investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has highlighted land banks and planning blockages as potential areas for investigation.

It comes as the competition watchdog provided an update of the progress of its market study into the housing sector.

This also covered the lettings market, where the CMS highlighted five issues of concern.


On housebuilding, the CMA said it wanted to further investigate estate management charges, competition between builders and barriers for new entrants as well as land banks and planning rules.

On land banking, the CMA said: “Analysis of the housing market shows the largest builders in the UK hold large swathes of land, and that these land banks have grown in recent years, leading to concerns from some stakeholders this may be limiting competition or slowing build-out rates in some areas.”

The CMA also said it has heard that various aspects of the planning system are “significantly impeding” the effective functioning of the housing market. 

The CMA said it will investigate each of these issues further and will consider a range of options that could include recommending legislative changes or launching a market investigation, particularly on private estate charges and land banks.


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