Office of Fair Trading Investigation will look at potential competition issues and consumers' concerns

The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the housebuilding industry.

The investigation will consider potential competition and consumer concerns within the market. The OFT will focus on two main areas: the delivery of housing, and on customer satisfaction.

The study will consider whether land which is suitable for development is being effectively brought through to the planning approval stage, and whether land with planning permission is being converted effectively into homes.

Following the recommendations of the Barker Review of Housing Supply 2004, the OFT has been monitoring the housebuilding market and is concerned that it may not be working well for consumers.

OFT Chief Executive John Fingleton said the study is "the first in depth examination of competition and consumer issues in new housebuilding."

The study is expected to report back by summer 2008.