New Homes Week: The importance of new homes and challenges to provide them 


New homes - Cockfield

Everyone needs somewhere they can call home, so the number of homes available must grow as the population does. This New Homes Week, Director of SEH French, Simon Girling, explains why new homes are so important, and looks at the challenges present in providing them. 

Since humankind has existed, so have homes. Sure, they have certainly evolved over the years as humanity has, but the premise remains the same. We own them for shelter and safety – sometimes as individuals, but also for families, friends or communal groups. 

As the population grows, not just here in East Anglia but also across the world, the need for new homes grows with it.    

Why choose to live in new homes?  

There arguments for and against new-build homes. However, providing they are built correctly and to a high standard, they provide people with a great option. 

New homes are known for being more energy efficient, so are a good option if you are looking to cut energy costs. With rising and fluctuating energy prices impacting people across the UK, having an energy efficient home can help. Not only that, but it also had beneficial impacts on the environment. 

New-build homes typically come with a developer’s warranty. So, any issues should be fixed by the builder if they arise within the specified warranty. The properties are usually equipped with better quality appliances, too. And better yet, you can say goodbye to chains!  

If you are not keen on picking up a paint brush, new-builds will be decorated professionally and usually in a neutral design. So, you can give it a personal touch with accessories, instead of trying to cut in along the ceiling! 

While there are many benefits to new-build homes, they often provide less space than their older alternatives. This can result in smaller gardens or smaller rooms overall. New-builds are often subject to a premium charge for being new, so can be pricier. 

It’s worth researching your needs and priorities before you decide on buying a new home or one with some mileage. 

What are the challenges in providing new homes?  

The challenges facing the construction of new-builds are in the form of market problems and government policies. 

A consultation into changes proposed to the planning system ended on Thursday 2nd March. The government’s proposed changes to planning policy would see more sway given to local authorities on planning issues. But according to Home Builders Federation, this would result in a drop of 77,000 homes a year.   

In addition to policy issues, the market itself is posing difficulties for housebuilders. The last few years has seen the industry become more volatile, with price-hikes for materials happening almost overnight. Some materials have increased in price by up to 50% over the past year, with overall costs rising by around a fifth year-on-year.  

The volatile state makes planning extremely difficult, as a job priced-up six months ago will unlikely be accurate six months on. So, it can be a costly game. 

As a result of the above challenges, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) predicts housing supply across the UK could be halved. You can read their report on the issue here

SEH French has been involved in numerous projects to provide new homes to new and existing developments. You can find some of them on our projects page