New research seen by City A.M. has shown that most British househunters are snubbing new-build homes in favour of older properties.
The survey, which was carried out by bridging loan specialist MFS, contradicts the focus of UK policymakers attempting to tackle the housing crisis with new-builds.
Earlier this year Sadiq Khan struck a deal with L&Q to build 20,000 new homes in London by 2021, following Chancellor Philip Hammond's pledge to fund the construction of 90,000 affordable new homes in the same period.
But in a survey of 2,000 UK adults, 81 per cent said they were not keen on the prospect of living in a new-build, while 79 per cent thought the government should focus more on supporting the refurbishment of traditional properties.
Efforts to solve the housing crisis have resulted in a record 162,880 new homes being built over the past year. But 1.4m properties are currently empty across the UK, a 20-year high.
The survey also revealed the main reasons why people are snubbing new-builds, with 41 per cent saying the properties lack character and do not fit in with their communities. A further 60 per cent thought the number of new-builds was too high.
One in four respondents said they would consider buying a new-build as a buy-to-let investment rather than as their family home.
"Despite the distinct need for a greater national supply of housing, the public appetite is evidently stronger for refurbished traditional properties over new-builds," concluded MFS chief executive Paresh Raja.
"However, the UK’s current housing strategy is heavily predicated on new-builds, much to the frustration of buyers across the market. Clearly more needs to be done to support aspiring property buyers by doing more to encourage the refurbishment projects that are essential to satisfy widespread demand.”