New homes v existing properties: Pros and cons

New homes v existing properties: Pros and cons

New homes are being built in the UK all the time to help cope with the rising demand that has gone hand in hand with the economic recovery and the current government's attempts to get Brits buying properties once again. 

In fact, in 2013, the number of new homes being built climbed to 122,590 according to official governmental figures - 23 per cent more than the year before, and a six-year high in terms of construction, so there are more new properties on the market than there have been at any time in recent memory. 

For those who are looking to buy, this throws up a dilemma, though - do you buy new or go for an existing property? There are pros and cons to both, and it can be worth weighing these up before making what will be one of the biggest decisions of your life.

Energy efficiency

This is a big plus-point for newer properties. They typically come with double-glazing throughout as standard, and will be insulated fully in order to fall in line with regulations. This means that they are more often than not much cheaper to run than existing properties will be in terms of utility bills.


New build properties tend to be a bit harder to get a good deal on than existing homes. They are often priced a bit higher because they have that appeal factor given that no one has lived there before. If you're looking for a little more for your money in terms of space, garden and number of rooms, you might be better turning your eye towards existing properties.

The same applies to the actual size of the rooms themselves. The bedrooms in an existing three-bed house are pretty much guaranteed to be larger than those in a brand new one. 

The buyer chain

If you're buying a home from someone, it will be more likely that there will be delays in the process somewhere. If you are trying to sell your own home, for example, and you are waiting for the person selling your new home to buy another, it can be a lengthy period - this is something you will not come across with new houses, where the chain is basically non-existent. 


Snags is the industry term for the sort of teething problems that can emerge when you move into a new house. They tend to need time to bed in a little, and there can be problems that will rear their head when the home is settling. While you will have a guarantee and won't need to pay for any repair work, it can be time consuming and frustrating to chase developers all the time to get your home sorted. 

This is not as much of an issue with older homes, which will normally be settled and have fewer snags. The flip-side of the coin, of course, is that older houses do not have the same guarantee, so you might need to shell out if problems do arise.

A blank canvas

Perhaps one of the biggest factors that those seeking a new home will find as a positive is the fact that a new house is basically a blank canvas. It will not have been decorated in the past, so you'll have the chance to personalise it far more easily than you would elsewhere. Even if you aren't looking to make major changes, there's far less likelihood that you'll need to redecorate an existing property than a new one.