“Competition watchdog to examine warranties for new homes”

Too late for the many people in Axminster and elsewhere in East Devon, sadly.

“The Competition and Markets Authority is examining payments between housebuilders and the providers of warranties for new homes as part of a review of NHBC, the largest warranty provider.

The CMA announced last month it was reviewing undertakings made by NHBC, the standard-setting body for new-build properties in the UK and the main warranty provider. These 22-year-old undertakings were designed to improve competition in the warranty market.

The review was announced amid concerns that NHBC is compromising its independence by paying millions of pounds to developers every year. However, the CMA said it was launching the review following a request from NHBC and that it would not consider the “wider issues” relating to the organisation. …”


“Bovis to pay £7m to compensate customers angry at poorly built homes”

Owl wonders how many affected homes are in East Devon, given the coruscating remarks made about the company here recently – particularly in Axminster by Councillor Douglas Hull, though Councillor Moulding did not seem concerned.

Oh, and Cranbrook … Cranbrook … poor, poor Cranbrook. Already with district heating problems, estate rents and garages too small for cars …

“Bovis Homes is being forced to pay £7m for “remedial action” to fix customers’ homes, after irate owners spent their own money fixing faults at newly built properties.

Angry homeowners formed a Facebook group with some accusing Bovis of pressuring them to move in to incomplete houses to hit sales targets.

Bovis’s boss on Monday apologised to customers for the poor quality of their houses and promised he would “make sure [we] finish their homes to their satisfaction”.

Earl Sibley, Bovis’s interim chief executive, announced the £7m “customer care provision” as home owners prepare to protest at the company’s annual meeting in Tunbridge Wells in May. …

… More than 1,400 have joined the Bovis Homes Victims Group on Facebook while others have posted a series of videos showing their poorly built homes on YouTube. Marc Holden, one of the group’s administrators, had said: “We are not going to stop our active campaign. There are a lot of unhappy people.

“We were getting a lot of people joining the group just before Christmas who were posting about being ‘encouraged’ to complete by 23 December, some were being offered money and other incentives.”

The company conceded that some customers were “offered an incentive to complete before the year end” but insisted that all of the homes were “habitable”.

Chad Clifton said he and his wife were “forced” to complete on their four-bedroom Bovis house in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, on 23 December and found the fridge had not been fitted and that the hallway was unfinished – just two points out of a list of 115 defects. They were offered £350 and a free move. “We were told we didn’t have much choice – if the house is ready we have to complete on 23 December.”

Rob Elmes said he was offered £3,000 if he and his wife completed on 23 December, but declined the offer because there were so many defects with the £320,000 three-bedroom property in Inkberrow, Worcestershire. “It became one of the most stressful weeks we have endured,” Elmes said. “[It was] not the Christmas we were hoping for.” …


Bovis … creek … no paddle?

Bovis is currently constructing all over East Devon, including in large numbers at Axminster, Seaton and Cranbrook.

The company has recently seen the creation of the Bovis Homex Victims Group Facebook site:

Could it be that this has also contributed to their woes?

A City attempt to lay the foundations of a £5bn merger of Bovis Homes and Berkeley Group is on shaky ground, with Berkeley understood to have rejected the idea.

Schroders, Bovis’ biggest shareholder, wrote to Berkeley proposing an all-share merger following a difficult trading period for Bovis which claimed the scalp of its chief executive David Ritchie.

Bovis had issued a surprise profit warning at the end of 2016, saying that pre-tax profits were likely to be flat this year at between £160m and £170m, below analyst predictions of £180m, due to a slowdown in the rate of building and sales in December.

The string of events prompted Schroders to target a merger with Berkeley, which mostly builds homes in London and the South East. Bovis’ activity is also concentrated on that area.

But Berkeley sources said the company had dismissed the call, instead choosing to concentrate on growing through partnerships with the likes of the National Grid, with whom it signed a £700m joint venture to develop new homes on disused land owned by the power provider in 2014, rather than mergers.

Other housebuilders, such as rivals Redrow or Persimmon, could still be in the frame to buy Bovis, which has struggled in recent months with slowing sales of its homes amid wider market uncertainty.

Berkeley itself has not been immune to a slump in the market: last month it amended its five-year dividend plan to return some cash through share buybacks instead. It also said in December that the number of reservations for its homes had fallen by a fifth since the referendum, signalling the impact of the slowing London property market on the company.

It hit out at Government policy which it said was increasing demand rather than supply, saying while it had helped in some areas, it was having “a negative effect on the capital”.

Schroders declined to comment on the terms of its proposals.”


One reason (close to home) why Bovis CEO resigned?

Axminster councillor Douglas Hull recently went on a tirade against badly-built homes in the town, though he took on the monkey NHBC (the business that issues 10 year warranties for new homes, rather than the organ grinders – the developers who build the shoddy homes in the first place.

Now, news reaches us of a national protest group taking housebuilder Bovis (a major player in Axminster, Seaton and all over East Devon) to task:

“Disgruntled Bovis Homes customers are to protest outside the annual meeting of the housebuilder, whose chief executive David Ritchie was ousted this week.

The Bovis Homes Victims Group has swollen to 650 Facebook members with a litany of complaints, as well as a YouTube channel with more than 9000 views.

Spokesman Marc Holden’s £490,000 Bovis home in Milton Keynes was beset with defects, prompting a company review.

Holden said: “We are not going to stop our active campaign. There are a lot of unhappy people.”

The meeting will be in Tunbridge Wells in May. Bovis warned on profits last month after delays to sales, prompting Ritchie to resign.

A Bovis spokesman said: “Bovis Homes is aware of the issues experienced by a small number of customers and recently established a dedicated team of specialists to resolve them, and apologises to the customers impacted.”


More “Future [lack of care] Care” roadshows – probably your last chance to give your views

Friday 16 December 2016
Town Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Friday 16 December 2016
Kennaway House, 14.30 – 16.30

Monday 19 December 2016
All Saints Church Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Wednesday 21 December 2016,
Village Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Budleigh Salterton
Wednesday 21 December 2016
Public Hall, 13.30 – 15.30

Thursday 22 December
The Beehive, 14.00 – 16.00

Friday 23 December 2016
Guildhall, 13.30 – 15.30