New Homes Review reveals delays and snags the biggest issue for new builds

Picture of house keys - new homes review results

Over 40% of new build homes fail to meet their original deadline, a survey by the New Homes Review (NHR) has revealed. The independent survey, conducted between November 2016 and May 2017 revealed that just over half of new build properties were completed on time (57%).

The survey asked new build property owners to give a score out of ten, on a number of factors on the process of buying a new build. This included questions on the quality of work undertaken, their levels of satisfaction throughout the build process and value for money.

The survey indicated that close to 60% gave a score of 7 or above for the standard of finish to the property.

When the property was habitable, 87% of new build homeowners stated that they had snags that required further work. 55% of these had over 10 snags and over a quarter (27%) were unresolved, impacting on the warranty.

As a result, 26% of homeowners expressed dissatisfaction with their builder and suggested that they would not recommend their builder.

During the building process 18% of survey respondents gave a score of 1 out of 10 for their satisfaction – with this figure rising to 20% post sale. At the other end of the scale, 24% were completely satisfied with the home building process during the build, falling to 22% post sale.

When asked the likelihood of recommending the builder, 26% homeowners scored 0 out of 10, with the same percentage scoring their builder 10 out of 10. 

Kate Hughes at New Homes Review, said: “This survey reveals two sides to the home build process. Close to 70% of owners are happy with their property, once it is complete, but sadly getting to the ‘complete’ stage causes issues. The main comments received relate to snags and the property being dirty and not cleaned before they moved in, which are relatively easy to remedy.

“This survey also highlights the importance of getting a warranty on your property. It is pleasing that close to 60% of respondents gave the importance of a warranty a score of 10 out of 10. Only 7% said they had no knowledge of the warranty.

“Buying a house is one of the most stressful things that you can do. Over time we hope that this survey will help potential new home buyers with their buying decisions, minimising the stress.

“The survey will also provide a gauge on the performance of the home building industry.”

Paula Higgins, chief executive, Homeowners Alliance here: “It’s interesting to see the similarities between the percentage of buyers who are satisfied with their builder and would recommend them and the percentage who most certainly would not. This shows the huge variations between the different developers and their approach to new builds.

“We regularly hear horror stories about nightmare builders and new build developments that are not fit for purpose - it’s been a particular issue in the press this year - but clearly not all developers are the same. While the complaints we hear from our members show developers of all sizes, from major brands to smaller names, have been guilty of delivering poor quality homes it’s clear there are some good firms operating in the market too.

“It’s essential to research the developer before buying a new build. Look at their previous work, check what is said about them in online forums and never rely solely on their marketing materials - take what they say in their brochures with a very large pinch of salt.”

The survey took responses from 287 property owners of new build properties between November 2016 and May 2017. Respondents were asked a series of questions on the quality of work undertaken and their levels of satisfaction throughout the build process including the condition and standard of finish of the new property. Owners were also asked to judge value for money and if they would recommend the builder.

Article by LABC Warranty


Chapel Riverside

Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

definitely the case with my new build, the snagging items are mostly still outstanding, some of the items they have 'fixed' have been done to such a bad standard that they could cause injury. The excuses for delaying the jobs are becoming tedious. I certainly would not recommend the builder to anyone. I have a very extensive list of faults. Is there anything you can do to put some pressure on the builder to do my jobs properly? I will take them to court if they do not do the jobs, but that is hassle for me as it will involve getting quotes from reputable builders / plumbers / electricians, however if it gets me the job done it will be worth it. Prefer the LABC make sure my builder correct and do a decent job.


Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

Hello there

Thanks for the message and sorry to hear that you're having problems with the quality of the work being undertaken by your builders.

If any of the issues are related to a lack of compliance with the Building Regulations, you can contact your local building control team. This is assuming that the Building Control is being undertaken by the Local Authority. Items such as the quality of finishes however are not controlled under the Building Regulations.

John, LABC

Double standards

Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

Interesting to read John's view from LABC. I've recently approached them re technical failings and they're unwilling to answer (a general technical query) stating that they will only respond to a specific site address/ owner. I was attempting to help them by highlighting general failings with regard to not meeting Building regulations but they didn't want to answer!


Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

Thanks for the message. Sorry to hear that you have been unable to get a response to a general technical enquiry. However, I can understand why a local authority would not wish to answer a theoretical question. If you forward your general technical enquiry direct to us (LABC) we will respond.

John Allen

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Sign up to the building bulletin newsletter

Over 48,000 construction professionals have already signed up for the LABC Building Bulletin.

Join them and receive useful tips, practical technical information and industry news by email once every 6 weeks.

Subscribe to the Building Bulletin