New Homes Review reveals delays and snags the biggest issue for new builds

Over 40% of new build homes fail to meet their original deadline, a survey by the New Homes Review (NHR) has revealed.

The independent survey, revealed that just over half of new build properties were completed on time (57%).

The survey indicated that close to 60% gave a score of 7 or above for the standard of finish to the property.

When the property was habitable, 87% of new build homeowners stated that they had snags that required further work. 55% of these had over 10 snags and over a quarter (27%) were unresolved, impacting on the warranty.

As a result, 26% of homeowners expressed dissatisfaction with their builder and suggested that they would not recommend their builder.

During the building process 18% of survey respondents gave a score of 1 out of 10 for their satisfaction – with this figure rising to 20% post sale. At the other end of the scale, 24% were completely satisfied with the home building process during the build, falling to 22% post sale.

When asked the likelihood of recommending the builder, 26% homeowners scored 0 out of 10, with the same percentage scoring their builder 10 out of 10. 

Kate Hughes at New Homes Review, said: “This survey reveals two sides to the home build process. Close to 70% of owners are happy with their property, once it is complete, but sadly getting to the ‘complete’ stage causes issues. The main comments received relate to snags and the property being dirty and not cleaned before they moved in, which are relatively easy to remedy.

“This survey also highlights the importance of getting a warranty on your property. It is pleasing that close to 60% of respondents gave the importance of a warranty a score of 10 out of 10. Only 7% said they had no knowledge of the warranty.

“Buying a house is one of the most stressful things that you can do. Over time we hope that this survey will help potential new home buyers with their buying decisions, minimising the stress.

“The survey will also provide a gauge on the performance of the home building industry.”

Paula Higgins, chief executive, Homeowners Alliance here: “It’s interesting to see the similarities between the percentage of buyers who are satisfied with their builder and would recommend them and the percentage who most certainly would not. This shows the huge variations between the different developers and their approach to new builds.

“We regularly hear horror stories about nightmare builders and new build developments that are not fit for purpose - it’s been a particular issue in the press this year - but clearly not all developers are the same. While the complaints we hear from our members show developers of all sizes, from major brands to smaller names, have been guilty of delivering poor quality homes it’s clear there are some good firms operating in the market too.

“It’s essential to research the developer before buying a new build. Look at their previous work, check what is said about them in online forums and never rely solely on their marketing materials - take what they say in their brochures with a very large pinch of salt.”

The survey took responses from 287 property owners of new build properties between November 2016 and May 2017. Respondents were asked a series of questions on the quality of work undertaken and their levels of satisfaction throughout the build process including the condition and standard of finish of the new property. Owners were also asked to judge value for money and if they would recommend the builder.