The British public are falling out of love with newbuild homes and most would prefer to see the billions being poured into developments spent on refurbishing existing traditional housing stock instead.
Research among 2,000 people reveals that 81% of them are “unenthused” about living in a new-build home while 79% said the government should focus its efforts and funding on refurbishing existing, run-down properties.
The figures during the same week when NHBC revealed that the number of new homes registered within its scheme decreased by 7% to 29,123 during the second quarter of the year.
The government is concentrating its efforts on new-build to fill the gap between demand and supply in the UK, and says it will build 1.5 million new homes by 2022.
But former housing minister Grant Shapps recently said two million homes need to be built as soon as possible to achieve balance in the property market.
More new homes
Over the past 12 months 147,960 new homes have been built and, supported by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, the number of new homes coming to the market increased by 21% year-on-year during the first three months of the year, figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government show.
The quality of these new builds isn’t impressing many people, the research by bridging loan specialist Market Financial Solutions.
It says 60% of the people it canvassed said too many new-build developments they had seen were poorly-built and unattractive and 41% said they lacked character and were “eye-sores within their localities”.
A quarter of the respondents were happy for other people to live in them, though, saying they would buy a new-build as a buy-to-let, but wouldn’t live in one themselves.
“Today’s research sends a strong message to both those involved in property development and the Government,” says Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS.
“Despite the distinct need for a greater national supply of housing, the public appetite is evidently stronger for refurbished traditional properties over new-builds.
“However, the UK’s current housing strategy is heavily predicated on new-builds, much to the frustration of buyers across the market.
“Clearly more needs to be done to support aspiring property buyers by doing more to encourage the refurbishment projects that are essential to satisfy widespread demand.”