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Grand Designs? No thanks, I’d rather move straight in!

07 April 2014
  • 81% of house-hunters look for properties that need very little work
  • Less than a quarter would take on a property that needed major renovation work
  • Almost one in three would only consider buying a new-build property

Despite TV schedules being chock-a-block with home renovation, DIY and make-over programmes, new research reveals that most house-hunters (81%) look for properties which require very little work, while 30% said that they would only consider buying a newly built home.

The survey, commissioned by home insurance, questioned over 2,000 people about what they would look for in a new home.  When asked whether they preferred new-build or older properties, most people (63%) voted for older properties.  However, the majority of respondents seem to want a home that they could move straight into with 81% saying that they would look for a property that need very little doing to it.

Of those homebuyers up for a ‘house project’, 39% said they would consider taking on a building project, such as an extension, and just under a quarter (24%) would be happy to buy a property that needed major renovation work.

When asked why they preferred older properties, just under half (48%) of respondents said that they thought older homes tend to have larger rooms than new-builds, while 35% were attracted by the character and original features of older homes and 15% didn’t want to live on a new housing estate.  Energy efficiency held the biggest appeal for those preferring new-build homes, with 34% saying that new-builds are well insulated and cheaper to heat.  This group of home-buyers also saw new-build homes as ‘maintenance-free’ (28%), and 24% liked their modern look.

Ben Wilson, from home insurance, commented: “While many people enjoy watching home make-over and renovation programmes on TV, our research suggests that most aren’t that keen on undertaking their own ‘grand design’ or restoration project.

“But if you feel inspired to undertake a major house renovation project or are planning an extension to your home, you should speak to your home insurer before you start work. Often insurers will need to include specific exclusions or conditions on your policy during the build phase if there is likely to be scaffolding erected or walls and doors are being temporarily removed.

“Renovation projects, particularly those that involve the installation of a new kitchen or bathroom, or the building of an extension, also usually increase the property’s rebuild cost, while the addition of new furniture, household appliances and furnishings may push-up the value of your contents. So your insurer may want to review your sum insured as well as making sure your renovation plans don’t invalidate your cover.”


Notes to editors:

*On 7th February 2014, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.