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In the rush to build more homes – worry that new homes standards are slipping

The need to build more homes was a recurrent theme of the 2015 General Election. And about time too. But the new Government's drive to deliver on it's promise of 200,000 new homes could be undermined by a public put off by new builds

According to the 2015 Homeowner Survey by HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance, the British public are shunning new homes because they are seen by some as being poorly built, characterless and with too small rooms.

The survey’s findings throw down the gauntlet to both the house building industry and the new government as it looks at how it will meet their promise of building much needed new homes. The key findings are as follows:

Twice as many people prefer an old home over new

New homes have such a poor reputation that according to the survey conducted by YouGov only one in five (21%) would prefer to buy a newly built home, whereas nearly a half (47%) would prefer an old home (built ten or more years ago).  Why is this? New homes may be less popular because they are seen to be poorly built, with 38% citing low build quality as a disadvantage of new homes.

Participants in the survey said things like: 


But it’s not all bad….

New homes are expected to have lower ongoing maintenance and energy costs

51% of people see this as an advantage of new homes. These are high on the wish list of potential buyers as 72% of UK adults say they would be interested in having information at the point of sale about the estimated annual cost of their energy bills and more than half would be interested in having the estimated annual cost of maintaining the property (56%)

New homes are thought by some to offer the best chance of getting on the housing ladder

…as schemes like Help to Buy are seen to be more widely available on new homes.

Younger and older buyers are more likely to prefer a new home

This was the case for 26% of under 35s, 18% of 35-54s and 22% of those age fifty-five or older

Participants in the survey said things like: 


Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said:

“We need more new homes, but they have to be homes that people want to live in, not homes that are quick, easy and cheap for house builders to throw up. What we need to solve the housing crisis are quality homes of character and space, and challenge the housing industry to deliver. After the war, they built homes fit for heroes. All we want is homes fit for homeowners. Homes shouldn’t be built just for a quick profit, but to last for generations to come.”


Image of New Homes – Perceived Advantages/ Disadvantages

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 22.41.18


Leave a comment (4)* Required

  1. Rico WojtulewiczRico Wojtulewicz

    It’s important that you differentiate between developers and not assume all are the same.
    SME (small and medium) housebuilder livelihoods start and end with customer satisfaction. When things aren’t right the NFB/HBA has their own dispute service, we’re part of the Consumer Code for Home Building and our members build to the latest regulatory standards including space and quality.
    In fact many members make an effort to build bigger homes.

    SMEs once built 60% of our homes and prices were more stable. SMEs now build 30% and prices are out of control. SMEs don’t land bank so build to the latest building standards, this means they build high quality homes. They also develop within communities so houses must be competitively built and priced, which means homes sized similarly to other local properties.

    It would be hugely beneficial to the conversation if organisations were willing to identify the difference between SME and volume housebuilders, not just on quality but on contribution; investment, output and the local economy.

  2. RobRob

    I agree with the last post regarding David Wilson Homes, Very poor workmanship, everything looks as though it’s been rushed through, who passes the work after it’s done…..not happy.
    I would not buy from plan again, they promise everything and then try to get away with doing as little as possible.

  3. Christian bisgroveChristian bisgrove

    We purchased a brand new David Wilson homes, 4 days in the entire downstairs flooded, 3 inches water. toilets and sinks not secured to the walls, nails in the garden just to mention a few of 50+ snags we discovered. Slow to rectify problems, poor repairs, and months of stress and upset with my family having to move out. Never buy a new home is my advice!

  4. DaveDave

    Please keep these great articles coming!

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