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13% rise in number of buyers seeking a new-build

The draw of investing in a new-build, particularly when buying off-plan, remains strong in the UK housing market.

A fifth of property buyers and investors surveyed by Knight Frank said they were looking for a new-build property, which is a 13% rise compared with the three consecutive prior years.

Several benefits were noted in the study, with the top one among buyers being the fact that new-build homes are more energy efficient – a plus-point highlighted by more than 60% of people who said they were interested in investing in a brand-new residential property.

The sentiment survey, which took in responses from more than 300 individuals across the UK, found that not having a seller chain was the second most common answer as to why people were more keen on buying a newly built property. Around 46% of people highlighted this as a major advantage.

The third most common response on the list thrust off-plan property into the limelight, with around a third of respondents saying that having more input into the design of a home when purchasing off-plan was a top positive when it came to looking at new-builds.

Why buy a new-build off-plan?

Studies show that brand-new properties sometimes come with a higher price tag of between 10-20% – although this is certainly not always the case, and can often depend on things like property type and location.

One Zoopla study highlighted the fact that in some areas, the average new home was actually cheaper than the average existing property in the same area.

Daniel Copley, consumer expert at Zoopla, said: “There’s often a perception that new-build properties are more expensive than resale homes – however, our data shows that there are in fact many areas of the country where new-builds are cheaper than resale homes.

“New-build homes offer additional benefits over buying a second hand property, most notably better energy efficiency and the possibility to purchase your home using a scheme like shared ownership as well as the availability of special offers and incentives.”

But one common way that homebuyers and property investors can save even more money – and maximise their returns – when investing in a new property is by buying off-plan. This tends to involve buying direct from the developer, often through a company like BuyAssociation to deal with the whole process.

Not only can this secure the buyer a much better deal, but the earlier you buy, the more you may be able to influence the design of the property, as well as getting your pick of the best available units before sales are opened up to the wider market.

Other benefits of buying new

Knight Frank‘s study listed a number of other advantages noted by respondents who were looking to buy a new-build.

These included:

  • More financial incentives
  • Warranty (normally a 10-year new-build warranty)
  • On-site amenities
  • Better safety standards
  • Concierge

The top response, which was the added energy efficiency that comes with new homes, is backed up by Knight Frank’s analysis of energy performance certificate (EPC) data from more than 600,000 new and existing properties transacted over the last three years, which showed an average 56% saving on annual energy costs (lighting, heating and hot water) when comparing a new-build with an existing property.

Knight Frank noted: “A high EPC on a property can demonstrate it has good insulation and glazing, ensuring it can stay cool in summer and warm in the colder months.

“The prospect of future environmental regulations is also having a stronger influence on buyer decisions. In total, a quarter said that this was the main factor driving them to buy a more energy efficient home, up from 20% two years’ ago.”

Energy efficiency of new homes is rising

According to Knight Frank, the number of new-build homes awarded the top EPC A grade hit a record high in Q2 this year, with 3,944 UK properties achieving the top rating. This is a huge 80% increase from 2,162 registered in Q1 2023, and a nearly 20% improvement on the previous quarter.

If you’re interested in investing in new-build property in the UK, including off-plan, BuyAssociation can help. Get in touch today to speak with one of our consultants, or browse some of our current opportunities

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