Inspector Home reportStandard of new homes is falling

29 March 2006

People who buy brand new homes are getting a raw deal because of increasing numbers of faults, according to a report out today.

Research has found that, on average, a new three-bedroom home in 2005 had 84 defects - a 29 per cent rise on the previous year.

In some extreme cases, ceilings had collapsed from water leaks, and one developer had sold units as two bedroom properties even though they were only one bedroom with an open mezzanine.

The study was carried out by Inspector Home - a company that inspects new homes to check for defects - and Glasgow Caledonian University .

Buyers felt pressured

Inspector Home says it uncovered confusion amongst buyers over correct standards, and many said they'd felt pressured into buying a sub-standard home.

The areas with the highest average number of faults per property were Kent and the South Midlands (73), while London remained the area with the lowest (46). Scotland showed the best improvement with a 10 per cent reduction in defects on the previous year's figure.

While Inspector Home was disappointed that standards were in decline, it said it was aware of certain developers which were making a genuine effort to improve quality.

Later this year, Which? will be reporting on this issue in more depth.