In the increasingly competitive housing market property buyers are choosing new-build homes, as they meet a range of priorities.
These go well beyond the traditional focus on location, new research by the NHBC Foundation and Savills has shown.
Beyond location, location, location: priorities of new-home buyers, a collaborative report produced by the two organisations, found that while location remains a key influencer, buyers of new-build homes also placed high importance on a series of other features.
These include design of living space, off-street parking, a new home warranty, low maintenance and increased energy efficiency.
Commenting on the report NHBC’s head of standards, innovation and research, Neil Smith, said: “The report shows that whether you’re a first-time buyer, relocator, downsizer or upsizer, buying a new home is about more than just location, location, location.
“Buyers are becoming more discriminating and make complex choices based on a number of factors when purchasing a new-build property. These include the lower levels of maintenance compared with older homes, size and design of living space, new home warranties, energy efficiency and the quality of the neighbourhood, as well as proximity to amenities and services.
“The report provides builders and developers with new and unique insights into the issues that influence new home buyers.”
Savills research analyst, Gaby Day, said: “The results of this survey are significant in understanding the broad motivations for people buying new homes, but also how this subtly differs by the location they are looking to be in, as well as the stage of life they are at.
“These observations form an important consideration for those within the development industry in deciding what to build where in order to increase both rates of sales and build out rates.”
The report, based on the views of more than 5,400 people who have bought new-build homes in the past four years, identifies seven core priorities which influence property choice. It found that although the proximity of amenities, such as schools, NHS services and local transport hubs were important considerations, they did not drive a house purchase decision as much as the appeal of key features of the home itself.
Homes in the report are analysed in three categories of location: high-density urban living, medium density in residential or regenerated areas of large towns, and suburban homes which are generally situated within 3km of urban areas.
The priorities of different purchaser types – first-time buyers, upsizers, relocators and downsizers – are also explored.
The report found that the same top priorities were very consistently selected by buyers across the categories of location. In order of importance these are: Minimum maintenance; Off-street parking; Location; New home warranty; Size and design of living space; Quality of the neighbourhood and Energy efficiency. Almost 58 percent of first-time buyers surveyed also considered the Help to Buy scheme very important.