British Housebuilders: History and Analysis
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
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The transition from the local housebuilders of the 1930s, through the regional diversification of the 1960s, to the national housebuilders of today is charted via a series of industry league tables.
The rationale for the growth in national firms is analysed. The conventional explanation of economies of scale is rejected: instead, the stock market is found to play a key role both in facilitating acquisitions and in demanding growth from its constituent companies.
The supply-side analysis also addresses the frequent corporate failures: succession issues, lack of focus and the 1974 and 1990 recessions have played their part in equal measure.
British Housebuilders provides the first opportunity to review the evidence drawn from a century of speculative housebuilding; it is only with this historical perspective that sound judgements can be made on the corporate role in housebuilding.