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We need to Increase the Popularity of New Builds

Something that many are simply unaware of, the UK is currently in a housing crisis. It has been for decades in fact, and this has amplified in recent years, with a growing shortage of not only available but suitable housing being available to those that need it.

This applies to both buyers and renters. On the face of it, an assumption that increasing the production of new build properties would fix this issue. However, this is not the case.

New build properties are in the spotlight, but not necessarily for the right reasons. In fact, homebuyers are harbouring negative attitudes to new builds, largely due to the fact they fall short of their potential.

Problems in the housing market

It is estimated that the Government need to produce 340,000 new properties each year for the next decade to keep up with demand for property. Despite this, and although property has continued to emerge as an area for debate amongst political parties, we are falling short of this target. In fact, in 2018 just 165,000 new homes were built, clearly then something needs to change to address this issue.

Popularity of New build

Negative perceptions of new builds?

Here at FJP Investment, we recently commissioned a survey, quizzing over 2,000 homebuyers about their current perceptions towards new build properties.

Although the lack of volume of new build properties being constructed is an obvious concern, the problems go further.

Over three quarters of respondents (78%) said they had viewed one or more new-build properties when they had previously purchased property. Clearly then they are on people’s radars when viewing property, however concerns have arisen over various elements of these builds.

Primarily, buyers were underwhelmed by the property’s characteristics. 63% of homebuyers felt new build properties were devoid of character and unattractive, suggesting that the majority of those that went to view new builds shared this sentiment.

The quality of construction is also apparently below par. 60% found that both new build homes and flats were finished to a poor standard, with a number of underlying issues that are predicted to surface a few years down the line that are not immediately noticeable.

Over two thirds of respondents also found that new builds were overpriced relative to the amount of property they were receiving, particularly evident when compared to property that was constructed just a decade ago. This means that on top of the various other problems that have surfaced, buyers are left paying a premium on a property that provides no additional value.

Constructing new property would appear the obvious answer to tackle the housing crisis, providing those that require property the opportunity to purchase suitable housing, but if the property being created is not up to a good standard, issues will persist in the market.

Check out the full report here: UK Homebuyers reveal sentiments towards new build properties.

What can be done to improve the popularity of new builds?

What then can be done to address the issue? The obvious answer here is to address the issues that people are conveying about new builds.

Tackling the issues surrounding new builds, including but not limited to the build quality and price of the property, will help to grow the popularity of new builds. The development of buildings that people do not want to live in represents a big problem, worsening the housing crisis. We cannot fall into the trap of building property quickly and cheaply to meet the growing number of people needing property.

The government needs to make a conscious effort to address the construction, fittings and quality of utilities of new builds. A report by Shelter found that over half of people (51%) found the standard of the three aforementioned elements of a house were below the standard they expected of a new build property, supporting the findings carried out from ourselves.

Keys to New Build

In an attempt to ensure a minimum standard is met with these properties, warranties should be included to protected homeowners and occupants against common issues. A host of 10-year warranty schemes are available and will demonstrate protection for homebuyers considering a new build property. Confidence that is apparently much needed with the purchase of a new build.

The popularity of new builds needs to increase

Property also needs to be built at an affordable level, without ‘cutting corners’ when it comes to the quality of the property. Making the property affordable whilst also maintaining a high build standard is hard but not impossible, an innovative approach may need to be taken to maximise the ability to achieve this.

Developers also need to work closely with local councils to ensure that new builds are truly needed in each respective area, ensuring the location is suited to buyers with sufficient transport links. Building controls will also aid in ensuring standard are met and issues will not surface in the future.

The potential for new build properties is evidently high. However, the government need to take serious note of buyer’s current hesitations towards these builds and act fast. There is a clear need for property of this type, the delivery of such property simply needs to be refined and improved.


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