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What a Buyer Wants, What a Buyer Needs

New research reveals the appetite, motivations and preferences for new home buyers.

A new report from ZPG, New Home Buyers 2018, demonstrates the priorities of new home buyers by exploring what people at different life stages are looking for and what the potential barriers are. The report surveyed a nationally representative sample of 600 adults who had bought a home in the past year or intended to do so in the next year.

The research showed that preference for new build homes vs resale homes was split almost equally at 37% and 36% respectively with the remaining 27% of people having no preference either way.

Families have the strongest preference for new build properties, making up 47% of new home buyers. The main appeal of new builds to this group is the perception of ease and convenience. Approximately one third of families like that new build homes are easy to maintain. Nonetheless, one third also perceive new build homes as being too small. Their main motivation for moving home is getting a bigger house in a desirable area close to good schools.

Buyers without children have the least preference when it comes to buying a home. Their key motivation is simply having their own place which they can move into without needing to do any work. A large proportion of this group are first time buyers and therefore being able to save money on things like decorating is appealing. Finance and government supported schemes such as Help to Buy are also important to this group.

Empty nesters are the most selective when searching for a new home. On average it takes them more than 8 months to find the right property. They are usually looking for a smaller property in a good location. Empty nesters are the most challenging group for developers to engage because their preference for new build homes is the lowest of the different groups. However, there is huge untapped potential there because they are more aware of the benefits of purchasing a new build home compared to the other groups such as ease of buying, running and eco-friendliness of new homes.

There are also differences between how men and women respond to new build homes. Women find new builds less appealing than men do and are also less likely to buy off-plan because they are eager to see exactly what they are buying so they can think of ways to personalise their new home.

The most important advantages of new build homes included:

  • the sales process is much easier
  • they’re easy to maintain
  • they tend to cost less to run

The things that were most likely to put a buyer off purchasing a new build home were:

  • the rooms tend to be too small
  • they’re too uniform and samey
  • they’re expensive for what you get.

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