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What Turns Buyers Away From New Build Homes?

Although nine out of ten new build home buyers would purchase a new build again, a New Homes Survey by the HBF reveals that bad press and general misconceptions continue to tarnish the sector. Survey results suggest that the primary concern is build quality.

According to a recent survey by specialist insurer BLP Insurance, nearly one-quarter of people view low quality to be a big disadvantage of buying a new build over an older property. Those residing in the north of England, which accounted for 29% of survey respondents, were more apt to regard low construction quality as a major disadvantage compared to those in London and the Southeast (21%).

Other perceived disadvantages of new builds that respondents identified included:

  • Lack of character (26%)
  • Room sizes (24%)
  • Sale price (21%)

Respondents in the 16-24 age group expressed concerns about cost (32%) when purchasing a new build home while those over the age of 55% viewed lack of character (30%) as the principal disadvantage of buying a new build. They were less likely to regard cost as an important factor (18%).

The BLP Insurance survey also indicated that 29% of residents did not see any special advantage in buying a new build home. Those in the over-55 age group were particularly sceptical about the benefits. (41%)

BLP Insurance CEO Kim Vernau said that subpar build quality was a growing cause for concern in the British housing market. As developers struggle to deliver enough new homes to meet the high levels of demand, quality and practical design were being compromised.

As homebuyers become more conscious of the problems caused by the poor build quality, everyone involved in the construction of new homes will have to take a position of greater responsibility and dedication to ensuring ongoing quality in the build process. Otherwise, the number of new build home buyers cannot grow.

Source: CRL

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Dudley Council to build homes for outright sale for first time in decades

Council bosses are set to welcome a multi-million pound investment scheme, which will see Dudley Council build homes for outright sale for the first time in decades.

The homes for sale project will see the council invest £9.7 million to build 59 homes for sale on the open market and 20 affordable homes in the borough.

The properties will be developed on four plots – the site of the Mere Centre in Stourbridge, Amblecote House in Brettell Lane, Turner House in Dudley and St Thomas’ Network in Dudley.

The expected return on investment will be ploughed into boosting the council’s resources to improve and support council services. The scheme will be discussed at Dudley Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing, said: “This is a major decision for Dudley. It’s the first time in decades the authority is able to pursue a project to build homes for outright sale at market value, alongside our ongoing project to build new affordable council homes.

“We’re confident we can deliver the homes that people want at affordable prices. This is an exciting time for us and any return on our investment will be used to support future housing investment as well as boosting general fund reserves to continue to improve council services for all of our residents.”

The council has also vowed a “brownfield first” approach to protect the borough’s green belt, while plans to identify key employment and housing gather pace.

The Black Country Core Strategy is also set to be discussed by cabinet members next week, outlining the next stages of the study – which includes working with neighbouring councils to identify land within the existing urban area with the potential for development. Council chiefs have vowed to “leave no stone unturned” in identifying brownfield sites to develop housing and business.

Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley added: “Critically, we need to do everything we can to protect the greenbelt in Dudley borough. That is why I have made it very clear that we need to leave no stone unturned in making sure we look at every aspect of brownfield sites.

“Our brownfield first approach will not only make sure that Dudley plays a big part in shaping the future of housing and the growth of businesses in the Black Country, but at the same time we make sure we do everything we can to protect as much of the borough’s greenspaces as far as we possibly can.”

Once adopted, the Black Country Core Strategy will outline where new homes and businesses should be built in the four boroughs through to 2036.

Source: Express and Star

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More than 10,000 extra homes planned for Shropshire – with some on green belt land

Shropshire Council is reviewing its local plan, moving it forward by ten years.

The plan is now set to be presented to cabinet on October 18.

Although almost 19,000 homes are already set to be built in the county, the plan says a further 10,000 will be needed by 2036.

Adrian Cooper, planning policy manager at Shropshire Council, said: “Shropshire Council has got a local plan already, the job at hand is keeping it up to date.

“The current plan covers 2006 to 2026, the new plan we’re working on is moving forward by 10 years to 2016 to 2036.

“Back in January we asked the public the big questions in an eight-week consultation and we had about 400 responses from across different sectors.

“This next step is about responding to these comments and starting to take decisions about the preferred approach for the new plan.

“We’ve gone for the highest housing growth, there’s a nine year overlap between the current plan and the plan we’re doing so we’ve got quite a lot that we can count towards that 28,000.

“If you add up those houses that have already been built it comes to 18,583, so the new housing required by 2036 is 10,347.”

About 300 hectares of employment development would be earmarked under the new plans.

Mr Cooper added: “We’re looking to deliver a balance between the level of housing and employment.”

The extra 10,347 houses are mostly planned for the towns in Shropshire, with 30 per cent planned for Shrewsbury, 24.5 per cent planned for the bigger towns such as Market Drayton, and Whitchurch, 18 per cent for smaller towns such as Much Wenlock and Bishop’s Castle, and 27.5 per cent for rural areas.

Mr Cooper added: “It will focus the development in towns. About 70 per cent of the development will be in towns.”

Green belt land in Shropshire could also be released for development under the new local plan.

Mr Cooper said: “The green belt is very specific planning designation.

“Shropshire’s green belt was established in the 1970s, it includes the land east of the River Severn and south of the A5, land around Shifnal, Claverley, Alveley, Quatt.

“The planning inspector we had last time instructed us that we had to do this.

“We’ve got a specialist consultant who has done a piece of work which will be published looking at the green belt in Shropshire and has divided it up in manageable chunks.

“They have measured how well these chunks of land are performing as green belt.

“We will then look at what the impact would be if we were to release that land. It then falls to Shropshire Council to see how we want to run with that.”

The housing growth of 28,000 is equivalent to an average of 1,430 homes being built a year.

Ian Kilby, planning services manager, said: “In the recession there were about 800 houses built per year, and last year we had 1,910 delivered.

“It’s only a few years ago that next to no houses were being built.

“There was significant more development last year that what would be happening.”

But as of this year, there were more than 11,000 cases where planning permission has been granted for homes, where construction is yet to start.

Mr Cooper said: “We are to some extent dependent on our colleagues in the industry to build the houses. If they don’t build them it impacts on us.”

Mr Kilby said: “We’re trying to get the industry to raise its game on quality, so this year we’ve brought in industry awards.”

There will now be an eight-week public consultation on the plan, which will start on October 27 and close on December 22.

Source: Shropshire Star