Helping UK new home buyers

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Three-quarters of British home buyers would not buy a new-build house.

Only one in four house buyers would buy a home built in the last 10 years.

In 2010, a YouGov public poll on behalf of the RIBA found that only one in four home buyers would consider buying a home built within the last ten years, mainly because rooms were too small. There are  many other disadvantages.

Housing audits carried out by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment in 2005 and 2007 rated 29% of new housing as 'poor', while a further 53% was just 'average'. Only 18% being considered 'good' or 'very good'. This is quite a difference from the industry’s own HBF customer satisfaction survey.

Small homes small windows

In September 2011, The Future Homes Commission was asked by the RIBA to look into the quality of newly built housing in the UK. The aim was to understand how people live today and what they need and expect from their homes and questioning whether the design and delivery of UK new homes was fit for purpose.

What they reported was that a staggering 75% of UK home buyers wouldn't go near any home built since 2001.

Even if a solution to the lack of available home loans and the chronic under supply could be found, few would choose to buy a newly-built home.

Some of the reported reasons why buyers avoid new homes:

In short, new homes are not being built for the needs of modern families.

The RIBA Case for Space 2011 report showed that UK new homes are some of the smallest in Europe and are getting even smaller. On average a newly-built home in the EU is 80% bigger than the UK equivalent. Are today's new homes designed to maximise profit by minimising space?  Most UK new homes have no front garden, very small rear gardens and small rooms with tiny windows. Most homes are cramped together on densely over-developed sites affording little privacy. Small dark new homes can even be bad for your health and well-being.

Typical small  new homes

Those who do buy a new home are far from happy. Defects and quality issues aside, a lack of storage space tops the list of buyer's complaints, with many having nowhere to put their vacuum cleaner except in a bedroom beside the bed!  In fact any walk-in storage large enough to accommodate a bed, is most likely to be called a bedroom to maximise prices.

The report also states that the lack of key information about new homes being sold is another reason for house buyers' reluctance to choose new. You can learn more about an electric kettle than you can about a potential new home.

When are house builders going to realise any extra they spend by building better homes, they will save in marketing costs. Building well-designed houses that have attractive living spaces, with large windows and a good layout of space and storage in a quality-constructed new home can be achieved at nominal cost for both buyers and house builders.

The Future Homes Commission is independent and aims to get "the best, not the least, that we can do for ordinary people of all ages to live lives of quality."

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 Why UK house buyers

avoid new homes