Survey suggests many British buyers would prefer traditional homes to new builds

While more new homes are being built in the UK, new research suggests that many still want older, traditional properties even if they need renovation.

People feel that new built properties end up all looking remarkably similar, can lack character and are often poorly built, according to research from bridging specialist MFS.

The research found that 81% are unenthused by the prospect of living in a new house and 79% think that the Government should focus more on supporting the refurbishment of run down properties to meet housing demand.

It also shows that 60% feel that there are too many poorly built, unattractive new builds and 41% feel new properties lack character, even regarding them as eyesores, while a further 23% would only consider buying a new home as a buy to let investment, refusing to live in one themselves.

The Government has prioritised new build construction within its housing policy to meet an urgent need for new homes and aiming to build at least 1.5 million new homes by 2022 yet the research claims that 1.4 million properties currently sit empty across the UK, a 20 year high.

‘The research sends a strong message to both those involved in property development and the Government. Despite the distinct need for a greater national supply of housing, the public appetite is evidently stronger for refurbished traditional properties over new builds,’ said Paresh Raja, MFS chief executive officer.

‘The UK’s current housing strategy is heavily predicated on new builds, much to the frustration of buyers across the market. Clearly more needs to be done to support aspiring property buyers by doing more to encourage the refurbishment projects that are essential to satisfy widespread demand,’ he added.

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