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Big house builders need ‘breaking up’ to increase competition, says Javid

Sajid Javid, who is being readied for a return to the Cabinet, has repeated his claim that a handful of big house builders have a 'stranglehold' on the housing market.

Nigel Lewis

house builders

Former Housing Secretary and Chancellor, Sajid Javid (pictured) has called on the competition authorities to investigate the ‘increasing concentration’ of volume house building within the hands of a relatively few house builders.

Javid, who was housing secretary from 2016 to 2018, said over the weekend that Britain’s inability to build enough homes was in part down to the ‘increasingly concentrated’ housebuilding industry and said the Competition and Markets Authority.

Directors at firms such as Barratt Homes, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey have reason to be concerned about Javid’s comments.

It was revealed on Saturday that Javid, who quit as Chancellor in February 2020 following a row with Dominic Cummings over who controlled his advisors, is being readied for a return to Cabinet most likely as the new Business Secretary.

Reshuffle

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a reshuffle this week or next with four of the more gaffe-prone Ministers of state under the spotlight, including housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

Javid said over the weekend that: “It may be time for the [Competition and Markets Authority] to look more closely at an industry that has become increasingly concentrated over recent years, dominated by a few large house builders.”

His comments to The Telegraph have been made to coincide with the publication of a new edition of Home Truths by one of the paper’s economic columnists Liam Halligan, a critical look at the housing market’s failings.

In a foreword to the new edition, Javid says: “In 2016 I said that ‘big developers have a stranglehold on supply’. Since then, competition has increased to some degree [but] we are, sadly, no longer a nation of homeowners.”

January 18, 2021

One comment

  1. Jenrick is likely to be replaced either in the upcoming re-shuffle or the next, and I do not think he will like where he is going. But post DC, it will be interesting to see who ends up in which slot, personally I think housing sector would be better served by a candidate who knows something about it … other than owning big ticket properties as many in cabinet seem to have.

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