New Homes Week – Thought for Thursday

Posted 19 May 2016 by Rupert Bates

With New Homes Week in full swing, Rupert Bates looks ahead to the WhatHouse? Awards, rewarding the best new homes in Britain...

New Homes Week celebrates the very best of British housebuilding and it is also the time of year when developers start entering their very best homes into the industry Oscars – the WhatHouse? Awards.

The Awards are now in their 35th year and have undeniably played their part in helping to drive up standards, with winners setting new benchmarks for quality of construction, architecture, community and public realm.

Housing continues to dominate domestic headlines, be it the chronic undersupply of new homes, continuing planning and land use issues, or the acute skills shortages. Whatever the hurdles, be they lack of labour or shortage of funds, it is imperative for the industry’s reputation that standards of build are maintained and enhanced.

The WhatHouse? Awards honour enterprising, customer-focused housebuilders and housing associations, large and small, working alongside an equally innovative supply chain, providing outstanding products and services, to produce top quality housing, across the price range.

The Awards always attract a great mix of entrants, from established names building big numbers, to new kids on the block starting out on their housebuilding journey – a journey fraught with difficulty for start-ups, which is even more reason to encourage their participation and shout their credentials to the homebuying public as well as to their industry peers.

It is not just the Awards that go from strength to strength, but – the UK’s leading new homes portal. has partnered with the Home Builders Federation to manage all aspects of its website across all platforms to dominate natural search results for new homes.

The management has been transferred to to create a powerful partnership exclusively dedicated to selling new homes with unrivalled expertise and industry knowledge to promote UK housebuilders and the benefits of building and buying brand new. – with the strongest brand in new homes – provides an unrivalled online marketing platform, ensuring homebuyers have all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision and where and how to buy.

The benefits of buying a new build home are extensive. New homes are built to the latest specifications, so there shouldn’t be any need for major repairs in the first few years. New homes tend to be more energy efficient, so owners of new build homes can expect lower energy bills which will save money. If you buy off-plan, there may also be the option of choosing the fixtures and finishes of your home, giving you that extra level of customisation and personalisation. A huge benefit of buying new is that there is no upward chain to deal with, and the government Help to Buy scheme is available on many new builds – a scheme that has already assisted tens of thousands of buyers secure a high-quality property.

The build quality and architectural integrity of any new development are key, but so is what comes with it and the community the scheme is helping to create, thinking about the people before, during and after a purchase. That is how great homes are built, but also how great brands are built.

It is time to change the perception, educate a new generation - whether they want to own, share, or rent, while ensuring the industry plays its part providing a safety net for the poorest and most disadvantaged in our communities. We need more innovation, more disruptors not just to try and meet hugely ambitious targets of over 200,000 new homes a year, but build them differently. The government must step up its disposal of public land, not to the biggest, but to the best – large medium or small - seasoned veterans, or start-ups.

It is not just creating homes for people to live in, but the massive contributions the industry makes to the UK economy and GDP, not to mention the community benefits, be it schools, transport improvements, or sports facilities. The lack of housing is not about developers’ greed, hoarding land waiting for prices to soar. It is about public selfishness.

If planning and regulatory burdens could be eased, then maybe housebuilders could compete for sites on quality of product, design, innovation, social impact, sustainability and sympathy with and enhancement of the local environment.

There are of course poorly built and ill-conceived new homes out there, but New Homes Week reminds us of all that is good in the new build world – not just the quality of product, but the huge benefits buying new over second-hand brings.

New Homes Week may only last a week, but the benefits of buying brand new over second hand properties are there to see all year round and in November at the WhatHouse? Awards ceremony, the very best are showcased.



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