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The true value of bricks: Are new homes worth their weight in Mars Bars?

Like it or not, we are a consumer-led society and like to feel we are getting value for money – so how does this equate in the UK housing market?

New home specialists Stone Real Estate recently carried out some research to look at the cost of a brick for a new-build property using its weight in kilograms against some luxury-end and everyday items.

Unsurprisingly, the cost of a new build property varies across the UK and this translates to the cost of an individual brick.

London bricks make a hole in the wallet

London’s bricks are, of course, the most expensive with Kensington and Chelsea topping the table at £214 for a new-build brick. Westminster is second, where a brick will cost £198 for a new-build and the City of London comes in at £174. Bexley is home to the best value brick in the capital at £64.

The biggest variations are outside London. In Chiltern the average cost of a new-build brick is as low as £19, but in South Bucks, just a stone’s throw away, that brick will cost you £150.

Burnley (£23), North and East Ayrshire (£23 & £29) and Inverclyde (£29) provide some of the cheapest value new-build brick costs in the UK, with the most affordable house prices found in these areas according to the study.

Building bricks

It takes around 5,180 bricks on average to build a new-build property in the UK. The average new-build costs £293,167 and each brick of that equates to £57 and weighs in at 2.7kg, meaning the cost is £21 per kg.

When you examine the cost of a brick per kg compared to daily items such as Mars Bars and crisps or a latte and a Big Mac, you may be surprised to learn that a Mars Bar works out at £12 per kg, a bag of Walkers crisps will cost £18 per kg, coffees and burgers £13 per kg, whilst a big ticket item like a new medium sized car comes to just £14 per kg.

More luxury expensive products highlight the affordability of bricks and mortar at a single unit – take an iPhone 11 which weighs in at a cost of £3,878 per kg.

Bricks and mortar – value for money

New-builds do offer distinct advantages to home buyers, eco-efficient features, new condition and developers offering incentive packages such as helping contribute to legal costs, stamp duty or removals.

Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone, comments: “The new-build sector offers far better value for money when compared to existing housing stock and new-build homes also hold their value for much longer.

“While the initial price point may be higher, the average cost of a new build brick doesn’t come in that much more than other day to day items such as crisps, chocolate or coffee when you compare them on a per kilogram basis.”

“The additional benefit is that you also get a house within those bricks and something that lasts far longer than a kilogram of Mars Bars while also providing a return at the end of it, with the latter offering not much more than a stomach ache.

“Of course, it isn’t as simple as getting on the ladder one brick at a time but for those that can knuckle down and save, getting that foot on the ladder is still one of the soundest investments you can make, despite the recent years of consistent house price growth.”

North-south divide

The north-south divide is demonstrated by looking at the price per brick in a new-build across the various regions. While each brick in a London new-build costs around £97 (with the average newly built property selling for £502,228 there), in the north-east this price shrinks to just £37 per brick.

Other top value regions include Yorkshire and the Humber, where bricks for new-builds cost £41 each, dollowed by the north-west of England – a favourite among property investors – where they come in at £44 a brick.

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