New Homes Review (NHR) 2018 annual report reveals that 69% of people are satisfied that they get value for money with their new home, but more than 9 out of 10 report snagging issues. Overall, the report shows small improvements in many areas on the 2017 report but there remains scope for better performance, particularly in after-sale care.

NHR 2018 - Key Findings

Key findings from the independent survey, conducted between 1 November 2017 and 31 October 2018, include:

  • 91% of homebuyers said that they had experienced snags or defects (92.6% in 2017)
  • 75% of snags and defects were resolved in a timely manner (76% in 2017)
  • 58% of people were satisfied with the service provided by their builder throughout the process (57% in 2017)
  • 63% of the properties were completed on time (59% in 2017)
  • Location was again the most important reason for choosing the property
  • Being close to family and friends, which was ranked third last time, has slipped to fifth
  • 65% are satisfied with the overall condition of the property and the quality of the build (59% in 2017)
  • 87% said that the new-build warranty was important to them

Almost half (49%) report being unsatisfied with the service they receive after the move-in date. Conversely, 33% said they were completely satisfied.

Now in its second year, the aim of the NHR report is to help new home buyers with their buying decisions and minimise the stress involved.

Kate Hughes at NHR said: “House building is such an important part of our society and with an increasing population, the country needs more new homes to avert a housing crisis.  But not all developers deliver what the homebuyer expects and more needs to be done to improve the sector.

“Builders and developers play a huge role in delivering people’s dreams, designing houses that people want to live in. Many of them are also trying to improve the service that they provide to homebuyers. The NHR report shows that there are improvements since 2017, but there is still more to be done, in particular around snags.”

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “It is a great shame that the vast majority of buyers have experienced snags in their new home and delays in completion.  Everyone expects some snagging issues as properties settle and dry out but for almost all buyers to identify problems, it’s clear action needs to be taken.”

Better communication could help everyone

Kate added: “What is clear from the NHR survey is that home buyers have very high expectations and that better communication on any delays or issues would be better for everyone involved in the process.

“Knowing who to contact and who is responsible for putting things right is important, especially given the number of snags identified. 87% of new build homeowners said the warranty or insurance provided was important, which shows their reliance on this and the protection it provides.”

For people about to move into a new-build home, LABC Warranty has produced a handy Snagging Checklist to help buyers easily spot any snags early in the process.

Fewer new home buyers are first-time buyers

When looking at the profile of respondents, the number of buyers aged 45 and over has increased from 45% of all buyers to 48%. Less than a third (28%) are first-time buyers, down from over 30% in 2017. Meanwhile, more than half of new homes bought are for two people, with one in five being single occupiers.

Age ProfileHow many live in the homePrevious buying behaviour

Read the NHR 2018 Annual Report

LABC Warranty website’s homeowners section has a range of resources to help buyers of new homes to “run-in” their new home, a Homeowner’s Handbook outlining what to expect from their buying experience, and information on how to make a structural defect claim.


Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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