Research says homebuyers prefer new to avoid estate agents

Amanda Jarvis

October 21, 2004

Whilst low maintenance costs, house builder guarantees and incentives top the list, avoiding agents isn’t far behind in seventh place.

The survey also revealed that the majority of homebuyers would pay more money for a brand new home as opposed to a similar old property. Further statistics reveal that homebuyers visiting the SmartNewHomes.com website are willing to pay an average of £223,742 for a new home, almost 50% more than the average UK house price (£153,727 in September 2004 according to Nationwide). However 5% expect their investment to pay off, anticipating that new homes will rise in price more than an older home.

To further balance out the extra cost, almost all housebuilders offer incentives to encourage buyers. These are cited by 13% of buyers as the most important reason for buying a new home rather than an old one. Common incentives include part-exchange deals with buyers’ old properties, stamp duty or VAT paid and help with deposits. These can be particularly helpful for first time buyers who are struggling to get on the property ladder. In addition, a new home can offer a new fully-fitted kitchen and bathroom which can be expensive improvements to an older home.

David Bexon, Chief Executive of SmartNewHomes.com, comments: “Despite the recent report from CABE that homeowners are dissatisfied with their new homes, the results of this survey clearly show that UK homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for the benefits of a new home.

“As well as the low maintenance benefits, homebuyers are also attracted by the prospect of bigger price rises in future and incentives from the housebuilders, not to mention the money saved from not having to renovate the house before living it.”

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