Tech is a major attraction of new homes, but the stigma of perceived poor build-quality is still there
When we are looking to buy a car, most of us will opt for the latest, newest model. However, research suggests 75% of buyers would not even consider a new home for the biggest and most important purchase that we make.
Why is this? I think there are several reasons, but prime among these is upbringing. Most of us, when thinking of our dream home think of a pillared mansion, an ivy-clad cottage, a Georgian terrace or similar, always with “period features”. There are exceptions (the luxury city-centre penthouse) but as a rule this holds true.
From 2025 all new homes must not be connected to fossil-fuel supplies for heating systems
The comparison isn’t perfect, cars are generally consumables, that will be scrapped after a decade or so, whereas homes are effectively forever.
There are other reasons many of us wouldn’t buy new homes; perceived quality of construction is an issue and, new homes don’t really have features that aren’t already present in old homes or that can’t be retrofitted easily.
Home design has stayed the same for decades but I think new homes are about to incorporate features older properties cannot easily match and new homes may become more desirable.
The government has confirmed that from 2025 all new homes must not be connected to fossil-fuel supplies for heating systems. In the vast majority of homes this means heat pumps. Our fridges use heat pumps, and if you have been to a villa in Spain or similar they will have used heat pumps to provide heating and cooling.
There is a fear British homebuyers won’t like this, preferring traditional gas-boilers, but when new homeowners realise that they can be cheaper to run and that they can also provide cooling, they may become attractive, particularly in cities. New homes often have the capacity for solar power and as we increasingly move to electric vehicles the ability to charge them will be crucial. Many homeowners with on-street parking are already experiencing the challenge of charging their electric vehicles. New homes could ensure that this provision is built-in.
Tech is a major attraction of new homes, but the stigma of perceived poor build-quality is still there – will new tech such as electric car charging and heat pumps change that? These features are becoming more sustainable and economical – in time the stigma will fade.
Barny Evans is a CIBSE low carbon consultant, low carbon energy assessor, BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes assessor