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Housebuyers choose renovations over ready-made homes


  • 52% of housebuyers prepared to purchase older properties in need of repair

  • 43% would be put off purchasing an overdeveloped period property

More than half of UK homeowners would be prepared to buy an older house in need of repair in their pursuit of the perfect property.

According to Yorkshire Bank’s quarterly Housebuyers survey, some 52% of homeowners said they would be prepared to put in some hard graft in order to get the home of their dreams.

The research also revealed that bargain period properties are more popular than ready-made modern homes.  In fact some 78% of first-time buyers claimed that even the security of a NHBC (National House Building Council) guarantee wouldn’t sway them towards opting for a newly built home. This is despite more than 42% of housebuyers admitting that older properties can be a financial gamble.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, said: “During the property boom of recent years, homes in need of repair typically attracted property developers with their eye on turning a profit. However, in the current climate, it seems housebuyers are also on the lookout for a bargain and will take on relatively major renovation work, such as replacing a roof or rewiring, if it helps them to secure their dream home for a more affordable price.”

Don’t modernise too much

The research also revealed that the recent trend of property developers buying and renovating older properties may have reduced rather than added to the appeal of some period homes on the market. Some 43% of respondents claimed they would be put off a property that was period on the outside but with a modern interior lacking in  original character and charm.

Gary Lumby added: “It would appear that buyers looking for period homes would much prefer them to retain their original feel and features throughout, and are more likely to pay a premium for this rather than for state of the art fixtures and gadgets far more appropriate for a modern build.”

Buyers who are too busy for building work

But not all buyers will take on the burden of building work. Busy young professionals are most likely to look for a ready-made home, with 69% of respondents in their twenties saying a new build with no work needed would be top of their property wish list.

It also would seem that age old stereotypes still ring true, with the man of the household happier to get his hands dirty when it comes to DIY. The survey found that 57% of men wouldn’t be phased by the prospect of renovation work, compared to 49% of women.

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