The UK government has pledged to build hundreds of thousands of much needed new homes but it seems that this is not what home owners want with the majority preferring older properties.
People think new homes are too small, characterless and of poor quality with new research finding that just 21% would actually buy a new build and 47% want a home that is 10 years old or older.
The survey carried out for the HomeOwners Alliance found that 38% think that a low standard of build quality is the main disadvantage of a new home. A third were put off by the size of rooms and other dislike included the lack of character and smaller gardens.
‘We need more new homes, but they have to be homes that people want to live in, not homes that are quick, easy and cheap for house builders to throw up,’ said Paula Higgins, of the HomeOwners Alliance.
‘What we need to solve the housing crisis are quality homes of character and space, and challenge the housing industry to deliver. After the war, they built homes fit for heroes. All we want is homes fit for home owners. Homes shouldn’t be built just for a quick profit, but to last for generations to come,’ she added.
There are however, positive aspects to new homes, the research also found. For example no old pipes on show and no hidden problems. And half of people believe the biggest benefits of a new build were the low maintenance costs and better energy efficiency.
Kim Vernau, of BLP insurance, which funded the research, said that there is reasoning behind the perception over quality. ‘With activity in the construction industry on the increase as local authorities and developers attempt to meet the housing shortfall, there is a real risk that building standards will slip,’ said Vernau.
‘Consumers want peace of mind and reassurance that the home they are purchasing is fit for purpose and built to last rather than simply chasing a house-building statistic,’ added Vernau.
Official figures show about 120,000 homes were completed last year, an increase on 2013 but still only half the 240,000 experts say are needed to deal with the UK’s chronic housing shortage.
The Government has pledged to ease the supply shortage by building 200,000 cut-price starter homes. Prime Minister David Cameron said first time buyers under 40 would be able to buy these houses at a 20% discount to ensure everyone who works hard can have a home of their own.