Homeowners Prefer Older Properties
With the government looking to increase the number of properties they're building, new research shows that many people actually prefer older homes. They often see these as being of a higher quality and with more usable space than is achievable in new developments.
The HomeOwners Alliance survey showed that only 21% of those questioned would purchase a new-build. Almost half of them (47%) want to buy a home that is at least 10 years old. This could cause problems with the government's plan, as this is focused on delivering more new homes to help resolve the current supply shortage.
The main problem homeowners have with new-builds is the quality of the construction. This puts 38% of people off buying one, as they don't feel they meet the same standards as existing properties. In addition, one third of respondents felt that the room sizes were too small. This is often due to pressure on developers to accommodate as many properties as possible on individual sites.
Other issues that the research highlighted were properties having no character and the lack of outdoor space. Some of these concerns can be overcome by making improvements to the property, such as installing a balcony with glass balcony railings to increase the outdoor area. However, in some cases they will prevent a buyer from considering any new-build properties.
The research isn't all bad news for the new-build market, as the results did provide some positive indications. The main benefits that homeowners could see with newer homes is that there were no ugly pipes on display, fewer maintenance issues and an improvement in energy-efficiency levels. For some buyers, though, these positives were not enough to persuade them to buy a new-build home.
The Future of House Building
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in activity within the housing market as the government seeks to overcome the shortage of properties. In 2014, around 120,000 new homes were finished, but this is still just half of what data analysis suggests we should be building to keep up with demand.
Those who carried out the research don't disagree completely with the government's proposals, but they do feel that the property market needs to meet the requirements of the home buyers. In many cases properties are simply being built too quickly and cheaply, and this is where the reduced expectations come from. They highlight that the properties that are being built should be ones that people actually want to buy, rather than just focussing on the quantity.
Developers could add in features to give the property more character and prevent individual sites from all looking the same. These could include enhanced outdoor space, glass balcony railings or larger room sizes.
There is no doubt that this country requires more homes to be built. However, there is no point in constructing properties that developers can't sell. Quantity might be a primary concern, but quality should also be a factor when designing new-build developments.