A recent survey carried out by bridging loan specialist MFS has revealed many Brits do not like new build housing.
The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that a massive 81% said they were not keen on the prospect of living in a new-build, while 79% thought the Government should focus more on supporting the refurbishment of traditional properties.
The reason for this may be that new build housing is perceived to be too similar, with new developments re-using the same house types across the country. In the survey, 41% of respondents said new homes lack character, and that they don’t fit with their communities.
These findings are unfortunate for a Government whose housing strategy is focussed on building a million new homes by 2020, with a further half a million by 2022. Neil Parish, MP for Honiton & Tiverton and chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee, has picked up on this problem, and said he will be holding a debate on new housing design when Parliament returns from recess.
In an article for his local newspaper, Mr Parish suggests that building in a more traditional style could also help overcome local opposition to new housing. Mr Parish said:
“Asking people about their local area, housing designs in traditional form and style commanded 75 per cent support. Less traditional development styles commanded very low support – around a fifth to a third. The message is clear: new homes should be built in high-quality, traditional designs that are popular with the public….At a time when this country is preparing for the biggest expansion in new housing for 30 years, the quality of design and finish must not be compromised.”
One potential solution could be for the Government to help smaller regional housebuilders to deliver higher numbers of location-specific houses, rather than their current over-reliance on the major national companies.