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Should I buy a new build?

New builds are not universally popular, and sometimes seen as less wise investments than older, character properties. Is this justified? Investing in a newly constructed property is actually a very wise move, says Adam Stackhouse, head of investments and commercial developments at Winkworth. Here we explain the benefits...


It’s well known that the UK needs more homes. The government’s target is to build 345,000 new homes per year to keep up with increasing numbers of households. But it’s a target that’s never been met: in 2019/20, total housing stock in England increased by only around 244,000 homes, around 1% higher than the year before. Developers can’t build enough, or fast enough, even though lots of construction is underway in London. Moreover, new builds are not universally popular, sometimes seen as less wise investments than older, character properties. Is this justified? 

In fact, investing in a newly constructed property is a very wise move, says Adam Stackhouse, head of investments and commercial developments at Winkworth. “If you are looking for hassle-free, eco-conscious living with the added pleasure of outstanding sound insulation and highly specified, brand-new internal fittings, all wrapped up in cast-iron guarantees, then a new build is for you.” New builds generally come with a guarantee of at least 10 years, sparing you all the worries about leaky Victorian roofs, damp patches, dodgy wiring, rotten windows and other homeowner headaches. A good development is designed to be energy efficient and to maintain a comfortable temperature, leading to lower bills and peace of mind.

Older houses may have character and features that appeal to buyers, but their layouts commonly just don’t suit most 21st century lifestyles. Not everyone wants the stress of reconfiguring rooms and building extensions while living in a building site or temporary accommodation. Converted flats often have clumsy layouts and room sizes, while new builds, on the other hand, are designed for contemporary living with layouts to suit. Buying off-plan can even allow purchasers to specify their preferences.

If working from home has put added pressure on homes and their layouts, this is another area in which new builds stand out, says Adam. “Developers have been agile in responding to changes in the work-life landscape as they have gone back into planning, adjusting their build programmes to provide an increased number of smaller, more versatile apartments with the very best fibre-optic broadband capability and communal areas that create a greater sense of togetherness for residents who may be using these properties for a 3 or 4 nights a week while they control their London business activity.”

Chelsea Island is a new development of exclusive new homes ranging from one to four bedrooms, designed by a global architect team to include landscaped gardens and resident facilities (gym, communal spaces) and create a utopian lifestyle. 

Further new build benefits include the ease of buying chain-free, the security of a smart lobby, minimal maintenance and modern specifications, access to schemes such as help-to-buy and shared ownership and the joy of being the first person to live in your home. London’s new builds are definitely homes to consider.

Whether you’re in the market for an entry level property through Help to Buy or for a luxury penthouse with far reaching views across the City, Winkworth’s New Homes department can provide the best platform to help you find your next home or grow your investment portfolio. You can also take a look at the selection of new build properties we have across the network over on our website.

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