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Why new build properties may be best for first-time buyers

After years of saving, hard work, and market watching, being able to view and make an offer on a property is a long-awaited accomplishment for first-time buyers [FTBs].

However, buying a property for the first time can be stressful for FTBs who will naturally feel worried about taking that initial first step onto the property ladder, especially given the unpredictability of mortgage rates over the last year.

Thankfully the property market is now displaying signs of recovery and stability, resulting in major lenders like HSBC and Halifax recently announcing a cut in mortgage rates, which in turn has created an influx of new FTB enquiries.

Interestingly, within this new surge of property hunting, there has been a significant increase in enquiries from FTBs exploring new build properties. newhomesforsale.co.uk, has seen property enquiries from FTBs reach a high of 65% of total enquiries in January - an increase of 16% from last year.

With mortgage rate cuts beginning to open doors to ownership, it’s only right to ask the questions, ‘Why are so many FTBs snapping up new build properties?

No property chain.

Unlike purchasing an existing property, new builds have no previous upward chain, this significantly reduces the risk of delays or complications arising from other parties in the property ladder. This streamlined approach not only expedites the buying process but also reduces the potential for last-minute disruptions, creating a more straightforward and stress-free experience for FTBs.

Modern Living

New build properties are the epitome of contemporary comfort and efficiency, offering a seamless blend of open-plan layouts and cutting-edge technologies. These can include modern appliances, underfloor heating, LED lighting and smart home devices, which can be controlled remotely.

Unlike new homes, when buying a pre-existing property, it's normal to expect some sort of house renovations, especially if the property has been untouched for many years. While these are possible, the associated costs and time of renovations should be considered before purchasing. According to HomeOwners Alliance, common renovations such as a new bathroom are estimated at around £6,000, with a new kitchen reaching £10,000+.

With modern amenities already in place, new builds can save buyers time, stress and money. This cuts down the stress and cost of renovations significantly and allows FTBs to focus on the smaller touches of making a house feel like a home.

Energy efficiency and cost savings

With the rise in the cost of energy bills and environmental concerns, it is important to consider how energy-efficient a property is before purchase.

As opposed to pre-existing properties, new builds are constructed with the latest energy-efficient technologies, materials, and appliances. This can result in lower utility bills and a reduced environmental impact, providing cost savings over the long term.

In fact, the latest research by the Home Builders Federation [HBF] found that energy bills for new homes are on average 55% cheaper, saving households £135 on monthly running costs.

Furthermore, data from Energy Performance Certificates shows that over 80% of new homes have the highest A or B ratings. With better EPC ratings, it opens up the option of green mortgages which can offer FTBs cheaper mortgage rates.

Protection and warranties

As a major investment, it's understandable that buyers want to feel a level of protection when purchasing a property.

Yet, according to research by Atom Bank, around a third of house buyers in Britain admitted turning a blind eye to serious structural issues such as dampness, electrical issues and roofing. Ignoring these issues can have serious financial ramifications. For instance, structural issues such as roof repairs cost between £400 -£1800 for materials alone, with a complete roof replacement estimated between £5,000 – £17,000, as reported by The Roofing Association.

Unlike a pre-owned property, many new builds will include an NHBC warranty, providing cover from structural issues for 10 years. This can save buyers thousands in costly repairs and provide first-time buyers with peace of mind, knowing that they won't be facing significant financial stress in the early years of homeownership.

Make an informed decision

For busy people who want to own a modern home with minimal fuss and without worrying about things such as the age of the boiler or redecorating sixties wallpaper, a new build may be the best solution.

From a streamlined purchasing process to modern design, financial and energy efficiency, cost savings, and community and comprehensive warranties; new builds offer a level of protection and obtainability to FTBs, making them a compelling and reassuring choice.

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