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Housebuilding review is a mixed bag for the sector
The latest update on the Letwin Review into practices in the new build housing market contains both good news and potential bad news for housebuilders.
As expected, Sir Oliver Letwin has dismissed arguments that the industry is hoarding land to drive up prices. However, he argues developers should widen the choice of design, size and tenure of new homes and thereby increase the rate at which houses are built and sold.
This could create concern that measures will be taken to address these issues when the review’s action statement is published, likely alongside the Budget in November.
Arguably housebuilders have benefited from very supportive conditions for some time and tighter regulation could add to the margin pressure created by a stalling housing market.
High end operator Berkeley (BKG) recently repeated its warning that profits at the company have peaked (20 Jun).
Referring to the Letwin Review, Shore Capital analyst Robin Hardy says: ‘Overall, not the full pardon the housebuilders had expected and there are likely to be actions recommended that are disadvantageous to the large housebuilders when it is published.’ (TS)