More than half of new-build buyers hit by problemsNew-build buyers face unexpected pitfalls

28 September 2011

Moving

House-buyers have reported a variety of problems with new-build properties

New research by Which? Money reveals a host of common problems, including poor workmanship, delays and unexpected costs.

With modern building materials, a focus on energy efficiency and the very latest fixtures and fittings, you'd expect buying a new property to be problem-free purchase. However, it seems that the truth of new-build doesn't always live up to the hype.

Problems with more than half of new-build purchases

We surveyed 200 homeowners who had bought a newly built property in the last five years and found that more than half of them had experienced problems. Worryingly, some 20% of those who reported problems to the builder said the issues were still not resolved.

When it came to issues surrounding build quality, fixtures and fittings caused the most problems: 31% of those questioned had experienced problems in this area.

A quarter of problems related to boiler issues, while 16% of people experienced difficulties with their utilities, and 12% were faced with structural problems. Several respondents felt that builders rushed the final stages of the process - to the detriment of build quality - in order to complete the sale of the property more quickly.

Delays and over-promising are major irritations

Three in 10 people experienced a delay in moving into their new-build property. Over-promising by builders was most frequently to blame, with almost half of delays occurring because properties weren't finished on the original dates set by builders.

Finally, new-build property seems to be a hotbed of unexpected extra costs. Three in 10 people said they encountered extra expenses when they bought their home and 30% of those weren't actually aware of these costs at the time they agreed the purchase.

In a recent report, the Royal Institute of British Architects expressed dissatisfaction that the average new home in England is only 92% of the recommended minimum size.

A good quality new-build property could be just right for you. However, you need to do your research and keep your eyes open to prevent your property dream turning into a new-build nightmare.

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