Defeating the scourge of new home defects – Arnold

by: Joe Arnold, managing director of Arnold & Baldwin
  • 17/01/2019
  • 0
Defeating the scourge of new home defects – Arnold
Help to Buy and the focus on homebuilding have helped new build to become a growth area in the mortgage broker market.


Latest figures from UK Finance show that in the year to June 2018 there were 119,636 new build properties bought using a mortgage compared to 107,403 in the preceding 12 months and 98,470 the year before that.

Consequently, in the second quarter of 2018, 19% of all homes bought using a mortgage were new builds, up from 18% in Q2 2017 and 17% in the same quarter the previous year.

It can be reassuring for homebuyers to move into a property that has a new roof and windows, modern kitchen and bathroom.

But just because a property is new, it doesn’t mean that it’s without fault.


New home defects

A report from the New Homes Review (NHR) found that, once new home owners have collected their keys and moved into their new build property, more than 92% said they had experienced snags or defects in their new home.

Half of these people were then unhappy with the service the developer provided to rectify the fault.

A subsequent investigation by the BBC on the back of the NHR report found that some buyers identified more than 350 faults with their new home once they moved in.

The government is taking the issue so seriously it is setting up a New Homes Ombudsman to protect the interests of homebuyers and hold developers to account when things go wrong.

The trouble with new build is it is often the case that problems are not identified until after the sale has completed, leaving the developer with little incentive to satisfactorily address the issue.


Snagging lists

It doesn’t, however, have to be this way.

Many surveyors offer snagging list surveys prior to completion on a new build property, which could identify problems earlier in the process, giving your clients the information they need to ensure that defects are dealt with before they move in.

When it comes to new build purchases, time is of the essence and developers will usually put pressure on buyers to complete the purchase quickly.

For your clients, who are likely to be emotionally involved in the transaction, it can be tempting to cut corners to meet a developer’s deadline, so brokers can provide real value by advising on their options throughout the process.

A snagging list survey could provide clients with the peace of mind that they are purchasing a property armed with the right information, rather than a sour taste that their new home does not meet the standards they were expecting.


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