Posted on 27 July 2020
The UK urgently needs more housing. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has estimated that 225,000 – 275,000 new homes are needed per year to keep up with population growth and 20 - 30 years of chronic undersupply. Housebuilders maintain that they are trying to meet this demand, but at what price?
Housing developers are private companies, driven by the need to maximise their profits. Period houses are much sought after for their spacious rooms, high ceilings and large gardens. But for most developers the cost of providing the same kind of property today would be prohibitive, resulting in a sharp reduction in their profits.
In 2015 a survey of 327 new homes revealed that 3,209 defects had been found in the first year of occupation (equating to 9.8 defects per property within 12 months). In 2019 Brand New Homes reported that 93% of new builds have preventable defects when the buyer first moves in. It would appear that a new property is not a guarantee of good build quality.
Given that private developers are not about to sacrifice their profits, is there a solution to this problem?
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