Buyers avoid new-build houses

24 August 2017

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.”



In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Surprised that nobody has yet mentioned the other big reason buyers are down on new-build: dimensions. For a while now developers have been squeezing more out of land by making the room sizes as small as they can get away with, and by making the plot sizes smaller, so that even detached properties are pretty much on top of each other.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

developer built homes are to be avoided at all costs, over priced and poor build quality, just ask anyone on site if they would buy one?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Very revealing article. I wish the government would take note !!, it might see our towns and villages released from the constant and growing squeeze of developers on our existing communities and services. However developers make their money on new build so their greed will as usual overcome common sense . 1.4 million empty homes with existing services/ infrastructure would go along way to solving our housing needs especially with regard to social housing

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

when I purchased my house 3 years ago, I did not even consider a new build. I wanted a 1920's - 1950' 3 bed semi. The older houses have more character, are more established, and the old style neighborhood streets are a lot nicer. New roads generally don't get grass verges on the pavements, nor trees along the street, and a lot of newer houses don't even get front gardens these days.

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