New builds create problems for homebuyersBuyers of new houses can face faults and delays

26 September 2008

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Many consumers face problems such as faults and delays when buying a newly built home, says a new study by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) .

The trade watchdog believes the homebuilding industry is competitive, with no one company having widespread or persistent market power – but adds that buyers need protection from widespread problems.

Now the homebuilding industry has agreed to set up a code of conduct and redress scheme for consumers, which will be up and running by 2010. If progress isn’t made the Office of Fair Trading recommends making the scheme compulsory.

Protection needed

John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said: ‘We have found the homebuilding market to be generally competitive. However, we have concluded that homebuyers need more protection when buying a new home and we have worked hard with the industry to help it develop a new approach to self-regulation that will improve consumer protection.’

When we surveyed Which? readers in January 2008 we found a quarter discovered problems with their new build or resale home after they moved in.

Which? says the new redress scheme and code of conduct are welcome developments. We’re glad that in the future people will have additional protection when things go wrong. We look forward to seeing the details of the new redress scheme.

For advice and tips on buying a new build house see the Which? guide to buying a home.