A new-build home is defined as one that is purchased for the first time within two years of construction. Every year, hundreds of thousands of new homes are built across the UK, with the government pledging to increase numbers further to help address a growing lack of quality and affordable housing. Government figures show that the number of new build stock created hit an 11-year high in 2019, when developers completed 170,000 homes.

What are the advantages of buying a new build?

There are many reasons why people choose to invest in a new-build property. One key advantage is that there is no chain involved when purchasing one, which means you are not left waiting for other peoples’ property transactions to progress before yours can. Many are attracted to a new build because it is a new, untouched home unaffected by wear and tear, which means it should not require any costly and time-consuming repairs or redecoration.

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New builds can often be purchased ‘off plan’ before construction work has even started, so you can reserve your dream home early and – if house prices are rising in the area – even build up equity while it is being built. This also enables you to make decisions about the fixtures and fittings. New-build homes tend to have the most recent safety features, including door and window locks, security lighting and fire safety measures, and are more energy-efficient than older homes.

Developers often offer a warranty period that covers you for any issues that arise during the specified timeframe. Nevertheless, even with a new-build property, it is always worth considering a building survey before completing the purchase to check that the building is structurally sound and not unreasonably priced. You can find qualified RICS surveyors through concierge services such as Sam Conveyancing or simply by searching ‘building survey Manchester’ or wherever your new-build home may be.

Where can you find the most new builds?

Figures released in 2020 showed that more new-build homes had been created in bigger cities and towns. Unsurprisingly, London was the city with the highest number of new-build properties in that year, followed by Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and the county of Surrey. In terms of growth, figures show that Cambridge saw the largest growth in house numbers from 2011 to 2020, followed by Telford, Milton Keynes and Peterborough.

Is there any help for those who want to buy a new build?

In October this year, the government closed applications to its Help to Buy scheme that gave first-time buyers the chance to put down just a five per cent deposit and borrow an equity loan to cover 5-20 percent of the property purchase price. Repayments incurred no interest for the first five years. The scheme opened in 2010 and helped to boost the popularity of new builds amongst first-time buyers.

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Today, some developers offer a shared ownership scheme whereby buyers purchase a share of a brand-new property and rent the remainder from the housing provider. Buyers can buy a share of between 10 and 75 per cent of the home’s market value and pay rent to the landlord for their share. Buyers have the option to buy more shares in their home in the future.