A comprehensive survey conducted by estate agent Savills has discovered the top priorities for today’s buyers of new-build properties, and the results reveal how the intended target market should be a huge influencer for developers and investors.

Around 14,000 participants took part in the survey conducted by Savills in collaboration with NHBC Foundation, all of which had bought a new home since 2014. Respondents scored the importance of factors including the property’s features, new-build-specific considerations, parking and local amenities, and some of the results were surprising…

Why invest in a new-build?

When asked why they specifically wanted to buy a new-build home, the top reason given was the minimum maintenance associated with a brand new house – which was classed as very important to 59% of buyers. New home warranty, which protects buyers of new-builds from any structural defects for a certain number of years, was next on the priority list for more than 50% of respondents.

Other top priorities which led to the choice of a new-build included the modern design and architecture, the fact that everything both internally and externally is brand new, and the lack of any buying chain.

How buyer type influences new-build choice

From first-time buyers to upsizers, and relocators to downsizers, different new-builds will carry varying attractions to different sets of people, which is an important factor to consider in any new development.

First-time buyers: Perhaps not surprisingly, first-time buyers chose the availability of Help to Buy as their top priority when selecting a new-build home, with 58% of respondents rating it as very important. This was closely followed by minimum maintenance (57%), which is perhaps a sign of the younger demographic who tend to make up the first-time buyer market and do not want the hassle of maintenance. New home warranty and off-street parking were next on the list for 53% of this buyer type, followed by location (46%), living space (44%) and neighbourhood (41%).

Upsizers: The majority of those looking for a bigger property would like it to come with off-street parking, and this was a priority for 65% of upsizers. Unlike first-time buyers, living space was second on the list, chosen by 61% of people, which is unsurprising given that such a buyer type is looking for a larger property, perhaps to fit a larger or growing family. Next, minimum maintenance was very important for 56% of upsizers, followed by location for 53%. Neighbourhood, new home warranty and number of bedrooms came out as equally important, with a 49% response rate.

Relocators: Like upsizers, those moving to a new-build to relocate selected off-street parking (61%) as the most important factor in their property choice, but this was matched by location which also received 61% of the vote – which makes sense as a priority for relocators. Minimum maintenance again scored very highly with 58%, followed by neighbourhood with 52% as a major consideration for those moving to a new area. New home warranty attracted 51% of respondents, then living space for 46% and energy efficiency making an appearance for 45%.

Downsizers: The majority of this buyer type is likely to be made up of older generations, perhaps those who have retired and are looking for a more manageable property as well as added security for later life. Downsizers listed minimum maintenance as by far their top priority, selected by 70% of respondents, followed by new home warranty (58%). Keeping costs down with energy efficiency was important to 57%, while location was a key consideration for 56%, followed by off-street parking (55%). Living space and neighbourhood, similarly to first-time buyers, were both lower down the priority list.