The consumer group HomeOnwers’ Alliance says buyers of new build homes should be able to retain 2.5 per cent of the sale price for six months to ensure the build quality if appropriate and any snagging difficulties are resolved.
The HOA has made the recommendation as part of a call for the property industry to give buyers greater peace of mind when buying a new built home.
The HOA is also helping buyers by partnering with King’s College London to publish the first consumer rights guide for new home buyers.
The alliance says that according to the Home Builders Federation, 49 out of 50 new home buyers now report defects to their builder, with one in four reporting more than 16 problems.
Separate research by the HOA itself claims that the bad reputation of poor quality of new homes is now one of the main reasons why twice as many buyers prefer old homes to new ones.
In addition to the retention of 2.5 per cent of the agreed price, the alliance wants buyers to have the right to inspect a newly built home before moving in, without prejudice.
It claims that some builders selling properties off plan refuse to let buyers see the property after it is completed but before buying it.
The HOA is calling for a range of other reforms for new build, such as standard contracts and an ombudsman service.