OFT to launch estate agencies probe
The process by which houses are bought and sold in the UK is to be
the subject of an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.
In the probe - due to start in February 2009 - the OFT will examine
issues such as the quality of service and price competition, the
ability of new entrants to get into the market and the extent of
protection that current regulations provide to consumers.
The government, consumers and industry stakeholders will all be
canvassed in the study.
OFT chief executive John Fingleton remarked: "We want to ensure
that consumers are served well when buying or selling a home and
are supported by an effective, competitive and innovative
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has welcomed the
Its chief executive Peter Bolton King said he hoped the report will
end up supporting calls made by the NAEA for "appropriate
regulation" of the sector.