At the Conservative Conference, the Housing Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, said that ugly homes have no place in his future vision for UK housing.
“The government is committed to building the homes this country needs, but it is not all about bricks, mortar and numbers. Too often, new developments come at the expense of beauty, quality and design. This shouldn’t be the case and the Conservatives are determined to deliver homes that families and communities are proud to call their own,” he said.
Which is marvellous, if a little blue-sky. There are many types of houses; cosy cottages, grand architecture, easy-to-run bungalows, concrete blocks, glittering waterside apartments, seashore cabins… all of which offer something unique, style and choice. In new build, too often, the typical estate home boasts few of these attributes. And there are other negatives.
FJP Investment researched 1,000 UK homebuyers’ views and property investors found:
- 50% feel the UK’s new-builds are typically unattractive
- 63% consider them “devoid of character”
- 67% believe too many newbuilds are unaffordable
- 57% think they are located in inconvenient locations
- 48% worry the infrastructure is poor
Prospective buyers don’t buy new-build homes because they are “unattractive or devoid of character and expensive, saying they feel developments are often aimed at the top end of the market.
However, there is interest in new-builds – 78% of respondents viewed one or more new-builds when house hunting.
Jamie Johnson (left), CEO of FJP Investment, said, “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.
“Homebuyers 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. 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.”