Revealed: public perceptions of new build properties

May 24, 2018 / Isla MacFarlane
Revealed: public perceptions of new build properties

Housebuilders may need to rethink their marketing approach as new research reveals the appetite, motivations and preferences for buying a new build home in the UK.

ZPG has launched its Insights into New Homes Buyers 2018 report. A nationally representative sample of 600 respondents, all of whom had either bought a home in the last year or intend to do so, were categorised as ‘pre-family’, ‘family’ or ‘empty-nester’, to showcase what buyers at different life stages are looking for from a new-build home.

Overall the report reveals that the preference for resale homes vs new-build properties is split almost equally at 36% and 37% respectively, with 27% claiming no preference.

The sales process and ongoing maintenance of new-builds is seen as easier, with running costs also thought to be lower. But new-builds are also perceived as having small rooms, being too uniform and over-priced. The five biggest advantages and perceived disadvantages to buying and owning a new build are as follows:

Top 5 new-build perceived advantages
37% Sales process is much easier
36% Easy to maintain
32% Cost less to run
30% Choose your own colours and finishes
28% Latest technology and modern features Top 5 new-build perceived disadvantages
37% Rooms tend to be too small
37% Too uniform and samey
35% Expensive for what you get
27% Not built to a high-quality spec
21% Undesirable locations

With regards to brand loyalty, 42% of buyers have no preference for a developer brand when searching for a new-build home because other factors are seen as more important.

In addition to general attitudes towards new homes, the report breaks down the pros, cons and potential barriers of buying a new home for each audience. Highlights include:

Pre-family:
• Buyers who are yet to start a family have the least preference for the type of home they buy.
• 57% said having their own place was the biggest motivation for buying a home.
• More so than any other group, they want something ready to move into that doesn’t require any work.
• More likely to be first-time buyers than the other groups, so their main concern is getting on to the property ladder.
• Due to a large proportion of them being first time buyers, the possibility of saving money on things like decorating is appealing.

Families:
• Families are the biggest audience for developers at 47% and have the strongest preference for new-builds.
• The main appeal of new-builds is the perception of ease and convenience. 34% like that they’re easy to maintain and 31% see the sales process as simpler.
• The two key considerations of families searching for a new home are space and location.
• However, size is also a concern and 33% believe new-build properties are too small.

Empty nesters:
• Empty nesters are those least likely to desire a new-build property (14%)
• 53% of those who are looking to move after their children leave the family home cited moving to a preferred location as their biggest trigger.
• This group have the longest list of requirements with location, the neighbourhood and type of property being the top three.
• Takes an average of 8.3 months to find the right property, longer than any other group.

Chris Browne, the Sales Director of ZPG’s New Homes division said, “When it comes to building and selling new homes, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work for developers. Our research reveals that buyers at different stages of life have clear, and differing, preferences for new homes and therefore developers need to keep their target market at the forefront of their mind – both when building and marketing these properties.”

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