UK buyers deterred from buying characterless new builds

New build homes can be unattractive, devoid of character and inconveniently located, according to a study of prospective buyers and property investors.

The survey from FJP Investment found that 50% feel new builds are typically unattractive, 63% consider them to be lacking in character, while 67% believe too many new builds are unaffordable, aimed at the top of the market.

Indeed, the average new build property in the UK costs £290,176, some 29% higher than the average price for existing properties at £224,729.

The poll also found that 57% dismiss the idea of buying a new home because they think they are located in inconvenient locations while 48% worry the infrastructure surrounding new build developments is poor.

However, despite these drawbacks, buyers see positives in new builds with 75% praising the modern facilities, 70% saying they are more energy efficient and 67% believe that the Government to do more to support new build development.

Furthermore, some 60% worry new build houses and flats are often finished to a poor standard, with poor workmanship resulting in underlying issues.

However, despite clear concerns, the research revealed there is still interest in new builds with 78% of respondents saying they viewed one or more new build when purchasing their last property.

Some 75% praised the modern facilities typically included in new build developments, 70% say they like the fact the properties are more energy efficient while 64% enjoy the lack of complications involved with previous owners.

The majority, some 64% of respondents agreed that the shortage of available housing across the UK is one the country’s most pressing society issues at present.

‘There can be no denying the huge need for millions of new houses to be built across the UK. However, our research shows that we cannot fall into the trap of simply constructing properties of a poor quality, in undesirable locations or without also investing in local infrastructure,’ said Jamie Johnson, chief executive officer of FJP Investment.

‘Buyers are clearly keen to consider new builds for their next purchase, but only if we can ensure the houses and flats are finished to a very high standard. What’s more, developers must focus on ways to inject character into projects, ensuring they feel less like a generic show home and more like a place that people will really want to live,’ he pointed out.