British Housebuilders : History & Analysis

One of the Real Estate Issue series

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Available from:
Fred Wellings
Blackwell Publishing
1 4051 4918 3

On-line at Blackwell Publishing or by phone on 01235 465 577

British Housebuilders is the first comprehensive account of the corporate history of the twentieth-century speculative housebuilding industry - the firms that `supplied` those houses and the entrepreneurs who created those firms.

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.

"The book is a carefully crafted academic research effort with references meticulously reported and caveats and limitations to the analysis clearly set out. Our understanding of the economics of house building is greatly enhanced and along the way a number of arguments previously promoted by academics are debunked."     Housing Studies, March 2007

"This book is an all-too-rare contribution to the body of knowledge on construction-related firms. It is comprehensive in its scope and rigorous in its approach. It is a companion volume to 'A Dictionary of British Housebuilders' (2006) published separately by the author and, together, they provide all the general reader might want to know about speculative housing in Britain in the 20th and early 21st centuries."     Jim Meikle, Building Research & Information

"'British Housebuilders' is undoubtedly a highly original and substantive study. The meticulous nature of the investigative work is matched by a written account that is cogent, fascinating and closely argued."     David Adams, Chair of Property and Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow

To read more about the structure of the book click here.

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