External post by Natasha Wilson
If you’re a young family looking to invest in a new-build home, you’ll no doubt be wondering which developers you can and cannot trust. Fortunately, there are plenty of tell-tale signs when it comes to the new home builders to avoid.
Considering the following four areas will help you to navigate the world of residential property developers and identify the best new home builders for your family’s needs.
Volume of homes built
If you want a new-build developer that’s proven and gets the job done, check out the volume of units each developer has completed in the last 12 months.
In 2020/21, Persimmon led the way as the most productive developer, with 13,575 new-build properties completed. That was followed by Barratt Homes (12,604) and Taylor Wimpey (9,799).
Persimmon also happens to be one of the leading dividend stocks to invest in. Shareholders in the construction company are currently receiving annual yields of 10% or more, which ranks as the second-highest dividend yield in the UK stock market today. Looking at the dividend yield of major new home builders is a demonstration of a company’s confidence in its future.
“You can also check out the prices that properties have been selling for via HM Land Registry, which is useful to see how things are performing in your area,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of British-wide auctioneers Property Solvers.
NHBC Quality Awards
NHBC is the UK’s leading independent warranty and insurance provider for new homes. Housebuilders that receive NHBC Quality Awards on a regular basis are verified for the high quality of products and finish in new-build properties.
There’s also the NHBC Pride in the Job competition, which sees NHBC hand out accolades to particular site managers that are recognised for taking the utmost care in the quality of their new homes. There are league tables for these awards, which show the builders that consistently achieve the most NHBC awards. Barratt Homes is at the top of the pile with 93 in 2021, although this figure includes those awarded to Barratt-owned David Wilson Homes.
Home Builders Federation star ratings
Star ratings are given to all UK housebuilders that enter the Home Builders Federation customer satisfaction survey. In an ideal world, you should look to find developers with five-star ratings.
In 2021, 42 out of 48 housebuilder companies were given a five-star rating, which should give you some peace of mind in the quality of workmanship, value for money and after-sales care.
Seek recommendations on after-sales service
It’s a fact of life that new-build properties can involve some form of snagging defects. Snagging is a source of frustration for new-build owners that just want to be able to enjoy their new home without having to lean on the developer to fix every little thing.
Snagging.org is a great place to start to learn about the after-sales care of the leading developers. There are threads and posts galore on here, detailing the stories of many homeowners up and down the UK. It’s a useful research exercise to explore this forum, as it gives you a picture of the typical snagging issues you may incur with each developer.
Of course, if you don’t like the idea of going with a large-scale housebuilder that may prioritise volume over a quality finish, you could opt for smaller regional new home builders. These regional firms may lack the financial flexibility to offer discounts to seal the deal, but you might have more say in the end product of your home, including finishes and designs.
Have you got any tips to share on finding the best new home builder?