The Consumer Code for Home Builders welcomes the publication of the Competition and Markets Authority Housebuilding Market Study report, but has expressed concern over the lack of meaningful progress towards better support for consumers.

The report highlights progress made in the industry in recent years, as well as ongoing issues some consumers face. In recommending solutions, however, there is little in the report that hasn’t previously been recommended by the Office of Fair Trading in 2008 or the subsequent All Party Parliamentary Group reports in 2016 and 2017.

We are pleased that many of the recommendations are already in place through our Code and others in the marketplace. We are concerned, however, to see a number of inaccuracies in the report which could have a material effect on some of the recommendations concerning consumer codes and redress schemes.

The CMA has recommended a mandatory single code and ombudsman scheme and has called on existing codes to share best practice in developing this approach. This was originally expected in 2021 but did not materialise in the Building Safety Act 2022. Should this now go ahead, it is vital that the resulting code does not lead to a reduction in the existing protection already available, either through reduced geographic reach, industry independence or effective sanctions.

Our Board is reviewing the market study in detail and will take forward appropriate actions to help decision-makers deliver positive outcomes for consumers from this study.

We would like to reassure builders and consumers that we are not expecting any changes in the short term. The mandatory code and redress recommendations in this report require additional legislation and it is not clear how or when that could be progressed in the current legislative timetable.

We will continue to provide a robust, independently approved Code of Conduct which eligible builders must meet in the marketing and selling of new build homes, as well as supporting consumers with a fully independent alternative dispute resolution scheme operated by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.

Please keep an eye on our news page and social channels for further updates.

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