A recent study shows cities and towns in the north have become the hottest new-build locations in the UK. What do buyers want from new housing?
A study of demand for new-build homes revealed nine out of the top 10 most sought-after locations are north of Birmingham. This was based on ‘new build home’ related Google search data and was conducted by Insinkerator.
Northampton in the East Midlands took the top spot as the most in demand location for new-build homes. With 2,564 searches per 100,000 residents annually, this is 25 times higher than in London. The capital currently lags behind in demand for new-builds.
Edinburgh and Aberdeen came in second and third with 2,172 and 1,994 searches per 100,000 residents respectively. York made it in fourth with 1,766. And Leicester and Derby followed closely behind with 1,662 and 1,586 searches respectively.
Large cities are hotspots too
It’s interesting to note that it’s not just cities with smaller populations that are seeing strong demand in new-builds. Home to a population of over 1m, Glasgow came in seventh with 1,499 searches per 100,000 residents and a total annual online search volume of 15,240.
Liverpool came in ninth. With a population of 648,900, the city had 1,479 searches per 100,000 people and a total online search volume of 9,600 annually. Leeds followed closely behind to round out the top 10. Featuring a population of 793,140, the city has had 1,362 searches per 100,000 residents and 10,800 total online search volume each year.
When population size is discounted from the rankings, the greatest demand for new-builds is in Manchester with 22,320 searches annually. And Birmingham comes in second with 15,840 searches. This shows regional cities are seeing particularly strong demand for new-build properties.
Demand for new-build properties
Insinkerator also undertook a study of 270 households across the UK to find out whether they’re looking to buy a new home and what prospective buyers are looking for in new-build housing. Within the next three years, 58% of current renters hope to become first-time buyers. And about half of existing homeowners are looking to buy a new property.
With strong demand being seen in the UK property market, demand has also been high for new-builds. Recently, the delivery of new-builds hit the highest figure in more than 20 years as the housebuilding sector bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are a range of advantages that come with buying a new-build. Modern properties have become appealing for homebuyers, property investors and tenants alike. This includes there being no chain, which can cause a property transaction to slow down or even collapse.
Additionally, there is peace of mind as new-builds come with a warranty. New properties have also been built to the latest environmental standards, making them cheaper to run. And overall, they’re much more appealing than older, tired properties.
Paul Gibbens, property specialist at Housebuyers4u, says: “The new build market presents buyers with a turnkey solution in that they are hassle free, with guarantees that one does not need to worry too much about any maintenance for a few years.
“With people becoming more environmentally conscious and looking for all the latest technologies to give better efficiencies, the demand for new build housing has been pretty solid over the last decade or so. Many of the things expected in new builds such as double or even triple-glazed windows, insulated walls, roofs, and doors, and energy-efficient heating are all common in new-build properties.”
What are buyers looking for?
Throughout the past few years, the wants and needs of homebuyers have shifted. Buyers have become increasingly interested in sustainability. This is leading many to look for more energy efficient homes that also offer green features.
Additionally, property priorities have changed with the increase in flexible working. More people are now looking for homes with more space and space for a home office in particular.
Insinkerator’s study found that 67% of potential buyers put the highest priority on having green space nearby, either directly by the home or accessible close by. Environmental concerns are also a top priority for many.
Among prospective buyers, 61% prioritise energy efficient heating and fixtures. Additionally, 44% want their home to be set up for environmentally friendly living. This includes renewable energy systems, food waste disposal and recycling. And 33% want their home to be built sustainably.
Kevin Carr, UK sales director at Insinkerator, comments: “Housing developers need to keep up with these changing expectations and fulfil these desires by building properties that are sustainably constructed and include eco-friendly kitchen fixtures that cater to a more green lifestyle, or else risk lost confidence from potential buyers.”