Recent statistics claim that the level of customer satisfaction with new-build homes is declining and that the number of new homeowners finding defects with their new properties is alarmingly high.  The report, by Think Tank the Social Market Foundation, found that only 46% of new buyers were very satisfied with the quality of their new build home in 2018, compared to 53% in 2012.

The report further claims that the quality expectations of new-build homes are not being met by house builders.  Reportedly, a staggering 99% of new home owners reported problems including snags or defects since they moved in, and of these, 69% experienced over five problems.

When buying a new build property – particularly one bought “off-plan” – you will usually be expected to commit to a purchase without having had a close up look at the end product. In fact, house builders are not required by law to allow buyers to view their property before completion takes place. Despite this, buyers will often need to sign onerous agreements, usually having to commit to an exchange and completion within a fairly short timescale.

Bearing this in mind, alongside the above statistics, there is a compelling case to instruct a Chartered Surveyor when buying a new build property. A surveyor can conduct an inspection and prepare a Snagging Report on your behalf before completion on the property takes place – identifying any issues and defects that may be present and compiling them in a professionally prepared report.

Where issues are identified prior to completion, it is the developer’s responsibility to resolve them before you move in. If, on the other hand, you only notice issues after you have moved in, there is less incentive for the developer to rectify them.

This is another of the issues identified in Social Market report – which claims that it is difficult for consumers to access redress for problems with new homes as the system is complex and difficult to navigate. Furthermore, home buyers are not always well informed about what their warranty covers.

We would always recommend seeking the professional advice of a Chartered Surveyor when buying a property of any age or description. Despite a house being advertised as new, you would be surprised at some of the issues we have identified during surveys of new builds – these include water entry due to poor cavity trays, cracks to masonry and extensive render problems.

Not only is seeking early advice likely to prove an easier route to follow in getting the necessary work to be completed, you can also remove the need for having to endure the hassle and disruption of repairs being undertaken once you have moved in.

For more information on our professional survey services in relation to a new build property, please get in touch. We regularly conduct snagging reports and full structural surveys on properties throughout Lancashire and into the South Lakes, Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales.


Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR