Majority Of New-Build Properties Hit With Significant Snags Or Defects
New-build property developers are facing calls for immediate improvements after the majority of owners found snags and defects with their property.
According to a recent survey, conducted by New Homes Review (NHR), 91% of new build owners said they found at least one significant snag or defect after moving into their property. However, 75% of these respondents had their concerns addressed in a timely manner.
The report concludes that property developers will need to work on their after-sale customer service skills as 49% were unsatisfied with the service they received. Conversely, more people (58%) were satisfied with the service provided by their builder throughout the building and purchasing process.
The report, which looked at new-build properties between November 2017 and October 2018, found that many new-build owners are forced to delay their move in date because the completion times were not met by their developers. In total, 37% of the new-builds failed to meet their completion date, causing undue delays and expenses to the owners.
Whilst 69% of respondents were satisfied with their new home following the resolution of all snags and defects, 35% of respondents were not happy with the quality or condition of the property and the quality of the build in its original form.
Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said:
“It is a great shame that the vast majority of buyers have experienced defects in their new home and delays in completion. Everyone expects some snagging issues as properties settle and dry out but for almost all buyers to identify problems, it is clear action needs to be taken.
“Our campaign aims to encourage better new builds and we are calling for new-build homebuyers to be able to retain 2.5% of the cost of the house, which would only be paid after six months. We would also like to see homebuyers compensated if their home is not ready on time. This would create a powerful incentive for builders and developers to build high quality homes right, first time.”
Kate Hughes, at New Homes Review, commented:
“House building is such an important part of our society. With an increasing population and house building on course for its lowest levels since the second world war, the country needs more new homes to avert a housing crisis. But not all developers deliver what the homebuyer expects and more needs to be done to improve the sector.
“The NHR survey is now in its second year and we hope that it will continue to help new home buyers with their buying decisions and minimise the stress involved, making it a much more enjoyable process.
“Builders and developers play a huge role in delivering people’s dreams, designing houses that people want to live in. Many of them are also trying to improve the service that they provide to homebuyers. The NHR report shows that there are improvements since 2017, but there is still more to be done, in particular around snags and defects which is still very high at 91%. While the majority are resolved in a timely manner, it will be an unbelievably frustrating time for the 25% that are not.
“What is clear from the NHR survey is that home buyers have very high expectations and that better communication on any delays or issues would be better for everyone involved in the process,” Kate added “The homebuyer would be better informed and feel more in control and it would be easier for the builder or developer to be open about the issues, many of which can be out of their control.
“Knowing who to contact and who is responsible for putting things right is important, especially given the number of snags and defects identified. 87% of new build homeowners said the warranty or insurance provided was important, which shows their reliance on this and the protection it provides.”
Have conveyancers found that more purchasers of new-build property are unhappy with the quality of the property they are buying? Are further measures needed to ensure the quality of new-build property?