A Bad Time to Buy a New Build

We advise potential buyers to avoid new build homes until there is more certainty on universal adoption.

Although new builds have had drawbacks over build quality and after sales service for many years. It has not always been easy for snags to get fixed and some very major defects are discovered, the real issue right now is estate (maintenance) charges. The full implications and liability of the model has been quite successfully obscured by developers which meant they could continue to sell. The cat is out of the bag now!

To clarify, these are charges for unadopted areas of the estates surrounding the homes and creating public open spaces as well as providing for utilities and other amenities like play parks. Roads and footpaths may or may not be put up for adoption by the authorities. The public can use these areas but only the residents foot the bill.

The Competition and Markets Authority have recently (Feb 2024) concluded a study into housebuilding and their conclusions in summary about estate charges are:

Approx 80% new builds are subject to estate charges in 2023/24

1.5 million homes affected – this must be an estimate as there are no official stats – we would say more!

Residents are significantly disadvantaged (CMA speak for ripped off!)

Most buyers were not fully informed of their liability. (Misrepresentation – although they do not take this further)

Lack of adoption is the underlying issue – they do go into great depth trying to understand why and recommend national adoption standards to facilitate the process. They concede commercial factors are paramount. They talk of government policies maybe should not rely on speculative private housebuilders for delivery of all new residential building.

They recommend to government(s) :

For existing estates, better regulation and redress over management, but do point out this will not fully address the power imbalance. We would say this does not even touch the sides of the issues of unfairness, community divisiveness, loss of value of the homes or improve the quality of the built environment.

They recommend to government that adoption become mandatory within a framework of national standards. Good for the future, if implemented.

This is all fine and well, but in the meantime, homes with charges are still up for sale. It is a terrible time to buy into this model as we feel that there is a very real risk of established privately managed estates being stuck with an extremely poor second best in terms of self management/better regulation. This will create a two tier system and there is no doubt that homes unencumbered with estate charges will be worth more in the future.

We advise potential buyers to avoid new build homes until there is more certainty on universal adoption.

And we will continue our campaign for a fair outcome for all – STOP THE ROT ADOPT THE LOT!!!


8 Replies to “A Bad Time to Buy a New Build”

  1. We’ve been misled by persimmon homes and they are still doing it with people buying new homes on ours and other local sites.
    We were told we were only paying for grass and hedge cutting not roads drains and lighting .
    We are pensioners and were duped by builder and solicitors who weren’t honest with us

    1. It is scandalous that they are still doing this. It feels like we should be going for legal action now as a group. This is something we plan to look into very soon.

  2. Even if it is made mandatory for the councils to adopt the new build estates. What will happen to the ones that have already been built and are unadopted? Will these also be adopted or will be left as they are (unadopted) because of the initial deed signed by the residents? If that happens then probably no one will be able to sell their property easily who are trapped in this scam forever?

    1. We are campaigning for universal adoption for the reasons you have stated. We are aware that there will be obstacles, but also that they are nor insurmountable.

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