Most new-build homes come with a range of perks, from brand new fittings and a new home warranty to better energy efficiency for cheaper bills.
Plus, with government schemes to assist first-time buyers, new builds offer an easier route into the property market for people looking for their first house.
While you may not have to worry about the cost of renovations for a new build property, the price can be higher depending on the location.
So, where in the UK is the best place to buy a new home if you’re trying to get on the property ladder? Let’s look at some of the cheapest places to buy a house in the UK, and the most expensive.
Most people looking for a new home would prefer somewhere that requires little work before they can move in, perhaps with some level of customisability in the fittings. New builds offer this, but it can be a long wait between reserving the property and completing construction.
What makes the potential wait worthwhile is the range of other benefits that also come with most new build developments in the UK. Affordability, accessibility, and local employment rates are some of the biggest factors influencing the decision to purchase a new-build house.
According to stats shared by BuyAssociation, up to 58% of current renters want to become first-time homebuyers, while around 50% of existing homeowners want to buy a new property. However, their priorities have changed following the pandemic and rising awareness of climate change.
Now, 33% of potential homebuyers expect sustainable buildings, and 44% expect environmentally-friendly options for energy, recycling, and waste disposal. Energy-efficient heating and lighting are a top priority for 61%, but the main issue for 67% is having access to nearby green spaces.
With the rise in flexible working and home offices since COVID-19 turned the world as we knew it upside down, being close to city centres isn’t as important as it used to be for property buyers. It seems that the contemporary homebuyer wants a new build house up to the latest environmental codes, with parks or community gardens nearby.
So, where can you find this for an affordable price in the UK?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the south’s reputation for being an expensive place to live, the cheapest places to buy new houses in the UK are often found in the north of England.
⦿ According to House Beautiful, three of the top ten new build hotspots are in the North West, and another three were in the North East.
⦿ In Zoopla’s list of top nine homes under £250,000, four are in North England – including three in the North West and one in Yorkshire.
⦿ Move iQ’s list of ten cheapest places to buy a house in the UK are all in the north, with Yorkshire taking the top two spots, followed by five areas in the North East (mostly in Durham), and a couple in the North West.
As the literal middle ground in the drama of the north/south divide, the Midlands are often overlooked – but they offer some of the best options for new property purchases in England.
⦿ Birmingham made it to the eighth spot out of nine in Zoopla’s homes under £250,000 list.
⦿ Aspen Woolf claims that Birmingham is the second largest economy in the country after London, with strong growth in house prices and demand expected.
⦿ SevenCapital identifies not just Birmingham but also Nottingham as some of the top places to invest in the UK, with high potential for growth.
⦿ According to The Telegraph, the West Midlands have the second and third favoured local authorities for first-time buyers (North Warwickshire and Staffordshire Moorlands), while the East Midlands are home to three more locations in the national top ten (South Derbyshire, High Peak, and Hinckley and Bosworth).
As costly as it can be to live in the London area, you might be surprised to know that there are some relatively affordable places to buy new homes in the south of England.
⦿ Two properties in the south made it into Zoopla’s top nine properties under £250,000 (Luton and Surrey, in seventh and ninth place respectively).
⦿ As per The Telegraph, Swindon in Wiltshire is not only the top spot for first-time buyers in the South West, but the entirety of South England – with properties up to 39% cheaper than in Kent.
⦿ Over in the South East, SevenCapital recommends Bracknell for affordable homes with access to the capital city, with a 19.1% increase in prices forecast for the next five years.
⦿ Meanwhile, Aspen Woolf suggests Bristol in the South West and Luton in the South East for strong housing markets with lucrative long-term investment opportunities.
If you’re thinking about moving to Scotland instead, you wouldn’t be alone. The higher standard of living for less money draws many homebuyers, but are house prices in Scotland that competitive?
⦿ As per House Beautiful, four of the top ten cheapest places to buy a new build are in Scotland (Ayrshire in second place, Inverclyde fourth, East Ayrshire seventh, and Argyll and Bute in ninth).
⦿ In Zoopla’s nine best properties under £250,000, Blairgowrie in Perthshire made third place.
⦿ SevenCapital recommends Scotland’s ‘second city’ Glasgow for lower property prices than Edinburgh with a similarly high level of return on investment.
If the Midlands and Scotland are often overlooked in the affordable property search of the UK, Wales definitely is, despite its abundant greenery. This may be because Wales is seeing record house price increases in 2022 – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable new properties available.
⦿ The Daily Express places Wales fourth in their top five list of cheapest regions to buy a new build (ranking just behind Scotland, with North East England in the top spot followed by Yorkshire).
⦿ Government statistics for April 2022 show that the average house price in Wales was £211,990 – higher than Scotland’s (£187,954), but much lower than England’s (£299,249).
The House Price Index reveals that the cheapest area to buy property in Wales is Blaenau Gwent in the south-east (£126,000, while the costliest is Monmouthshire in the south-east at £342,000).
⦿ While house prices in North Wales have been rising at their fastest annual rate, The Leader reports that Denbighshire is the exception – where prices dropped by 5.9%.
There are plenty of headlines about soaring house prices as the property market bounces back from the pandemic, so you might be wondering if buying a new house right now is really the best idea.
However, The Times reports that house prices are expected to fall by 5% in the next two years as the Bank of England increases interest rates to fight against inflation. However, that doesn’t mean you should bide your time and wait that long to buy your dream home.
There are no guarantees, which means that if you find a new build in your preferred location and price range, it’s better to snap it up while you can. The best times of year to go house-hunting are spring and autumn, as people tend to be busy around the summer holidays and Christmas.
Whichever property you decide to buy, and wherever it may be in the UK, just be sure to check that it comes with a comprehensive building warranty. Or, if you’re a builder or a buyer and there isn’t a structural warranty in place yet, you can contact Architects Certificate to set one up today.
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