Despite housing crisis, 81 per cent of Brits snub new-builds

41 million Brits call on the Government to back the restoration of Britain’s traditional properties, rejecting identikit homes sweeping the nation

21 million of us are sick of seeing poorly-built, unattractive new-builds being constructed in our local areas

New research among 2,000 UK adults by bridging specialist MFS has revealed that Brits are tiring of new-build housing developments. The data, which comes as a record 162,880 new homes have been built across the UK in the past year, urges the Government to prioritise the refurbishment and restoration of traditional properties across the country. It found:
  • 81 per cent of UK adults (41.58 million people) are unenthused by the prospect of living in a new-build house
  • 79 per cent (40.56 million people) think the Conservative Government should focus more on supporting the refurbishment of run-down properties to meet housing demand
  • 60 per cent (30.80 million people) feel that there are too many poorly-built, unattractive new-builds popping up across the country
    • 41 per cent of the nation (21.05 million people) feel new-build properties lack character, acting as eyesores within their localities
  • A further 23 per cent of UK adults (11.81 million people) would only consider buying a new-build as a buy-to-let investment, refusing to live in one themselves

Homebuyers dislike the nation’s rising number of new-builds, despite these constructions forming a core priority of the Government’s housing policy, new research by bridging specialist MFS has revealed.

In an effort to resolve the undersupply of housing currently afflicting the UK, the Conservative Government has prioritised new-build construction within its housing policy, committing to build 1.5 million new homes by 2022.

However, an independent, nationally-representative survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 81 per cent of the country – the equivalent of 41.58 million people – consciously avoids new-build properties despite living through the worst housing crisis in decades. Casting considerable doubt on the Government’s focus on new-builds in its housing policy, the research also found that 79 per cent of respondents feel the current Government should do more to embrace the refurbishment of traditional properties as a greater priority to boost the nation’s housing supply. It comes as 1.4 million properties currently sit empty across the UK, a 20-year high.

MFS’ research found that the majority (60 per cent) of UK adults feel that there are now too many poorly-built, unattractive new-builds popping up across the country. A further 21 million people (41 per cent) do not like new-build properties as they feel that the developments not only lack character but also act as eyesores within their local area.

The nation’s frustration with new-builds is evidently such that they would not choose to live in one themselves; however, 11.81 million people (23 per cent) said that they would consider buying a newly built property as a buy-to-let investment.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, commented on the findings:
“Today’s 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. However, 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.”