The cosi­ness fac­tor means buy­ers are warm­ing to­wards new homes

Buy­ers are putting prop­erty snob­bery aside as new homes tempt them with cheaper run­ning costs and easy liv­ing. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

RIS­ING fuel prices may seem like bad news all round but they’ve been a bless­ing in dis­guise for de­vel­op­ers.

Those who live in draughty old prop­er­ties can feel the dif­fer­ence when they walk into a show home thanks to the Gov­ern­ment’s in­sis­tence on high lev­els of in­su­la­tion, en­ergy ef­fi­cient boil­ers and air tight­ness in ev­ery new­build.

Many buy­ers cite run­ning costs as a main mo­ti­va­tor for mov­ing out of the cold and into new homes, which are about four times more en­ergy ef­fi­cient than old ones. Fig­ures show that they can slash £556 off av­er­age util­ity bills.

A change in life­styles has also made the low main­te­nance new-build more pop­u­lar as a fast­paced so­ci­ety leaves lit­tle time or de­sire for DIY.

An­drew Bead­nall, of Bead­nall Co­p­ley es­tate agents, says: “We have def­i­nitely seen a big change in at­ti­tude in those who would pre­vi­ously only have looked at pe­riod prop­erty and a lot of that is due to the huge re­duc­tion in heat­ing bills you can achieve with a new home.

“The costs of main­tain­ing an older house also comes into the equa­tion, es­pe­cially in this eco­nomic cli­mate. Older houses can be very beau­ti­ful but you some­times need deep pock­ets to run and main­tain them.”

While there is still some prop­erty snob­bery around homes built on large de­vel­op­ments, those buy­ing at the top of the mar­ket won’t turn their noses up at be­spoke one-offs.

Homes on a small, se­lect site are at­trac­tive as is the chance to own a con­tem­po­rary grand de­sign.

There is a lot of in­ter­est in one­off de­sign-and-build pack­ages such as Wharfe Bank House in Colling­ham, near Wetherby.

The eco-friendly, five be­d­room prop­erty is priced at £1.2m through Bead­nall and Co­p­ley.

How­ever, even though there is in­ter­est few will buy un­til they see it out of the ground.

“If some­thing is highly in­di­vid­ual and has green fea­tures there is un­ques­tion­ably de­mand for it but peo­ple won’t usu­ally buy off plan be­cause they can’t imag­ine what it will look like or how big it will be. Only when it starts to take shape will they com­mit,” says An­drew.

When they view, adds Bead­nall and Co­p­ley’s Dar­ryl Dig­pal, they are more likely to buy if the space flows, though they will also be tempted by deals, of­fers and the knowl­edge that a new home is al­ways chain free.

“That’s one of our great strengths in a mar­ket like this. We have a lot of tools to help peo­ple buy that are not avail­able on sec­ond-hand homes.

“We have part-ex­change deals, shared-eq­uity and de­posit paid schemes, which are all very ap­peal­ing, though our tough­est job is get­ting peo­ple to a new de­vel­op­ment for the first time. Once they are there their minds are more open to the idea of buy­ing new” says Bar­ratt York­shire’s sales di­rec­tor Ian Ruthven, who is de­lighted with the sea change in at­ti­tude to­wards new-builds

For years the in­dus­try was blighted by var­i­ous scan­dals over poor build stan­dards and dull de­sign and in the re­cent boom there were com­plaints that de­vel­op­ers were squeez­ing too many prop­er­ties onto plots, driven in part by Gov­ern­ment in­sis­tence on high den­sity.

“There has been a grad­ual move away from three-storey town houses and flats and sites aren’t quite as built-up as they were. We are see­ing a def­i­nite move to­wards tra­di­tional, two-storey, three- and four-be­d­room de­tached houses,” says Ian.

Qual­ity and de­sign are also cru­cial when com­pet­ing for buy­ers in a slow mar­ket.

“There were a lot of fea­ture­less homes built but now a lot of thought is in­vested in how peo­ple will live in them and on mak­ing them look stylish. Buy­ers ex­pect en-suite bath­rooms and they like open plan, flex­i­ble spa­ces with plenty of light,” says Ian.

“Peo­ple also want to know they can move in and not have a long snag­ging list and if there are prob­lems they want to be sure they’ll be re­solved. We have the usual NHBC war­ranty but we also of­fer a five-year war­ranty our­selves and that has cer­tainly given us an edge.”

There are, of course, ar­eas where new homes can­not com­pete with older ones. Although you can cre­ate a great con­tem­po­rary look, you can­not give a new home his­tory or the sort of char­ac­ter that is built up over decades. Nei­ther can you have a fab­u­lous gar­den full of ma­ture trees and shrubs.

Lo­ca­tion is an­other area where you may have to com­pro­mise. Many of the best sites have al­ready been built on and de­vel­op­ers have slim pick­ings.

“A new house can have great de­sign but you can’t make into a rus­tic farm­house or an 18th cen­tury cot­tage,” says Ian.

“But while you may have to com­pro­mise on lo­ca­tion you will get a good deal more for your money.”

WARM RE­CEP­TION: Wharfe Bank House, Colling­ham, gives buy­ers the chance to cre­ate their own grand de­sign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.