New-build houses are unpopular with buyers who would prefer to live in a refurbished traditional home, according to new research.
Bridging finance firm MFS found that eight in 10 (81%) Brits are “unenthused” by the prospect of living in a new-build house.
Three out of five of the 2,000 people MFS polled believe that too many poorly built, unappealing new-builds are being developed, while two out of five (41%) feel that new-build homes lack character and are ‘eyesores’ within their local community.
Almost a quarter (23%) would only consider buying a new-build as a buy-to-let investment and would not live in one.
Instead of building new builds, just under one in eight (79%) believe the government should do more to support run-down properties being renovated and put back into use.
According to the latest government data, 162,880 new-build houses were started in the year to March 2017 – up by 15% on the previous year. During the same period, 147,960 new-build homes were completed – up by 6% on 2016.
In contrast, currently around 1.4 million properties remain empty across the UK – a 20-year high – according to recent Office for National Statistics data.
Paresh Raja, chief executive of MFS, says: “Despite the distinct need for a greater national supply of housing, the public appetite is evidently stronger for refurbished traditional properties over new-builds.
“However, the UK’s current housing strategy is heavily predicated on new-builds, much to the frustration of buyers across the market. Clearly, more needs to be done to support aspiring property buyers by doing more to encourage the refurbishment projects that are essential to satisfy widespread demand.”