You can’t fail to have heard about the chronic under-supply of housing in England and the government’s target to commit to building 300,000 new homes a year as a way to address the problem.
Despite periodic media reports forecasting a housing market slowdown, demand continues to outstrip supply. After all, home ownership is what everyone aspires to and therefore new homes must be built. According to the local press, Swindon is set to grow by a fifth, with 20,000 more homes due to be built by 2036.
Of course, the purchase of any property is a huge financial commitment that should be considered carefully by each individual buyer. With new residential developments popping up all over Swindon and the surrounding areas, the choice of new-build homes has never been greater. This is good news for buyers who can take advantage of the many benefits that a brand-new home can offer.
New-built homes are a popular choice for all property buyer demographics – from first-time buyers to growing families, downsizers and retirees, and not forgetting buy-to let-investors. There are plenty of different styles and sizes of homes available in the marketplace, and many are marketed with added financial incentives that can make a new-build a more attractive proposition than many a resale property.
You’ll be the first person to live there
One of the main advantages of buying a brand-new flat or house is that everything is pristine, new and unused, having had no previous owners or residents. Expect the property to have a modern layout and be freshly decorated in a pleasing, neutral interiors scheme, complete with modern new fixtures, fittings and the latest appliances. You may even have been offered a choice of options, additions and upgrades by the developer for things like kitchen fit-outs, bathroom tiles and sanitaryware, carpet or hard flooring and built-in storage.
It's good value for money
There’s been some concern about off-plan sales and new-build properties being more expensive than comparable resale properties. However, what many pundits fail to mention is that savvy buyers are often able to negotiate some truly fabulous deals on top of the options and upgrades mentioned above.
Cash back offers, free holidays, additional white goods and even getting stamp duty paid are just some of the incentives offered by motivated developers to tempt prospective buyers into committing to the purchase. What’s more, at the luxury end of the property scale, amenities offered in the price could include in-house gym facilities, underground car parking, the latest home security features or 24/7 concierge services, all of which add to the value of the property.
Peace of mind is guaranteed
New-build developments are typically sold with a 10-year new home warranty from providers such as NHBC (National House Building Council), LABC (Local Authority Building Control) and Premier Guarantee. These policies are designed to provide protection and peace of mind to property owners in case of faults with the building arising from poor workmanship or materials.
Many housebuilders also offer to put right any post-purchase snagging issues that might be encountered. Of course, a belt and braces approach is always best – homeowners should protect their investment with an independent property survey as a matter of course. The financial risks of not bothering with any kind of home survey are simply not worth taking.
Your new home is energy efficient
Investing in a new build property means you will be getting a home that’s been built to the latest energy efficiency standards. This includes double-glazed (or even triple-glazed) windows, high-quality home insulation, the latest central heating boiler model and other desirable sustainability features. All of this makes the building more environmentally responsible while reducing the cost of heating your home makes it more affordable to run.
The low energy consumption of a brand-new property not only decreases its carbon footprint but will make it a more valuable asset when you come to sell. As a rule, new homes tend to have higher EPC ratings than older properties, which can be a key selling point.
Your house will be a freehold property
Property in England and Wales is usually owned on a leasehold (flats and maisonettes) or freehold (houses) basis. While freeholders own the building and the land it stands on, leaseholders merely own the right to occupy the property for the duration of the lease and are required to pay ground rent, service and other charges to their landlord.
Until 2020, it was possible to sell new-build houses as leasehold properties, a practice uncovered by the recent leasehold scandal along with many cases of onerous lease terms imposed on property owners. The good news is that the government has put a stop to this, meaning all new-build houses must now be sold as freehold properties.
Good investment potential
If you are considering investing in a house or flat in an up-and-coming location, a new-build property can be an excellent way to take advantage of the positive trend. This applies to owner-occupiers looking for capital growth opportunities as much as property investors looking for long-term rental returns in addition to capital growth. And if you buy off-plan in an area where property prices are rising, it is possible that you may be able to benefit from equity growth of your asset before you’ve even set foot across the threshold!
The new-build housing market is set to remain strong for the foreseeable future and purchasing a reliable, low-maintenance property can be an excellent investment. Whether you are looking to get your first foot on the property ladder, upsizing or downsizing, or hoping to expand your portfolio, it is difficult to see how you can go wrong with a brand new property.
Freelance writer who has written for various online and print publications, specialising in lifestyle, business, branding and career development, anniebutton.co.uk.