Should aspiring homeowners or next time buyers choose to buy an existing property, or opt for a new build?
Much depends on location, access to amenities and of course personal taste, but here are some pros and cons which might help.
New build property comes with a 10-year NHBC warranty to cover structural problems  and developers may provide their own additional warranties to provide additional peace of mind, for a set time period.
Although developers have been slow to respond to ‘green’ issues3, new builds are now more likely to have higher energy efficiency to comply with the latest building regulations. This means that they are more energy efficient than older properties and therefore may result in lower energy bills. Data from Energy Performance Certificates shows that 85% of new homes have the highest A or B ratings. That compares to just 2.2% of existing properties.
New builds, depending on the developer, can be customised if you are buying off plan where the property is still at an early stage in the build. This means that you can choose fixtures and fittings to suit your taste.
With a new build property there is no upward chain to worry about that might hold up the purchase. Some developers may run schemes to buy a buyer’s existing house/flat at market value to speed up the sale. They may also offer incentives such as paying stamp duty costs or conveyancing fees.
On the other side of the coin, new build homes may bring a list of snags that need correction. Even the best new build home may still feature doors getting stuck on new carpets or a loose tile, so it’s worth having a snagging survey undertaken as soon as your developer lets you on site.
According to a report from insurer LV, more than 5,000 new homes in flood-risk areas of England have been granted planning permission so far this year, and could be seen as a way for local authorities to tackle the housing shortage.
So much depends on choosing the right developer if new build is what buyers want, and doing some homework by looking at their previous developments, checking their track record on complaints and the speed with which they deal with snags and faults can lead to better choices.
Time and money may not be wasted by doing proper due diligence before committing to a new build purchase, because the advantages could far outweigh the potential issues.
- NHBC (2022) Providing Protection for Homeowners. Available at: https://www.nhbc.co.uk/homeowners (Accessed 26th Jul 2022)
- HomeOwners Alliance (2022) New Build Warranties – what they do and don’t cover. Available at: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/new-home-warranties-cover/ (Accessed 27th Jul 2022)
- The Climate Change Commission (2019) UK homes unfit for the challenges of climate change, CCC says. Available at: https://www.theccc.org.uk/2019/02/21/uk-homes-unfit-for-the-challenges-of-climate-change-ccc-says/ (Accessed 26th Jul 2022)
- HomeOwners Alliance (2022) Pros and cons of new build. Available at: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/new-build-vs-existing-home/ (Accessed 27th Jul 2022)
- Gov.uk (2021) Latest figures show increase in new energy efficient homes. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/latest-figures-show-increase-in-new-energy-efficient-homes (Accessed 26th Jul 2022)
- LV= (2022) Plans to build over 5000 new homes in areas with high flood risk approved. Available at: https://www.lv.com/home-insurance/new-homes-in-flooding-areas (Accessed 26th Jul 2022)
All the information in this article is correct as of the publish date 25/08/2022. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. The information provided in this article, including text, graphics and images does not, and is not intended to, substitute advice; instead, all information, content and materials available in this article are for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.