TV presenter claims property industry “broken and dysfunctional”

Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud says the housebuilding market is dominated by big firms making huge profits and should be broken up.

mccloud property industry

Grand Designs property guru Kevin McCloud has slammed the property market as “broken and dysfunctional”.

The TV show presenter says the housing industry is monopolised by big housebuilders demanding large profits.

He claims Britain is falling behind other European countries such as Germany and Sweden.

If I were the housing minister I’d be looking at ways to break this monopoly.”

“If I were the housing minister I’d be looking at ways to break this monopoly that two or three companies have over the market,” McCloud told PA news agency.

A lack of competition between developers is stifling quality and innovation, and means the market is more sensitive to downturns, he argued.


“We have effectively a broken market, a dysfunctional market, it has been hollowed out,” the television star told PA. “It means that when we hit difficulty, those companies nosedive and they buy each other out.

“If, like Germany, we had a really resilient market with thousands of medium-sized companies, you’d find a general ability to flex and respond in a way that is not motivated by panic.”


His comments come after two of the country’s biggest developers, Barratt Developments and Redrow, announced a merger worth £2.5 billion.

The deal is being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority.

McCloud says: “Why on earth a company should be allowed to turn over an amount of money equivalent to the GDP (gross domestic product) of a small nation, I don’t know. That seems to flout some competition laws.”


The presenter was speaking ahead of the Grand Designs Live exhibition, which kicks off at the ExCel venue in London in May.

He warned that the UK housing market has worsened in recent years. “Fifteen years ago, we led the world in the standards we were applying to construction and driving towards net zero. We were winning the race,” he said.

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