Why are house builders building the wrong type of houses!

#1
For the last 3 months I ve been looking to buy a 2 or 3 bed house and have visited umpteen new estates and show houses etc - the one thing that is common in nearly all of the new estates eg persimmon Cala bellway dawn etc is that they are all building far more 4 and 5 bed houses than 2 and 3 beds which is absolutely infuriating. What's even more infuriating is all of the reps on site tell me that there is a massive shortage of 2 and 3 beds and they are inundated with people like me looking to buy one! The excuse seems to be that people are looking for more room so are happy to buy the bigger houses when actually the problem is the builders are building shoeboxes and are drastically limiting the availability of 2/3 beds which is forcing people to buy bigger houses and have bigger mortgages etc. obviously this is profit driven by the companies but I do think that the government should be putting pressure on them to design and build properties that match the market!

Rant over and relax! Deep breaths!!


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#3
Amen to that.

I've got a 1940's coal board house. Alright, I'll admit to cursing it when I'm drilling or taking the chimney out but it's a solid house.

Mahoosive garden, big rooms and large kitchen.

Compare with the stud partitioned shoe boxes with a garden the same size as my patio decking just up the road.
 
#4
Because building companies have to give so much of each estate they build over to social housing.

We pay people lots of money to have loads of kids.

Those people live in social housing.

People in social housing have loads of kids so need bigger houses.

Building companies build more bigger houses.
 
#5
Because building companies have to give so much of each estate they build over to social housing.

We pay people lots of money to have loads of kids.

Those people live in social housing.

People in social housing have loads of kids so need bigger houses.

Building companies build more bigger houses.
Yes its the poor people fault.......

They are banging up estates round my way with houses that would shame Calcutta.

I know we are getting less digestive biscuit for more money nowadays but these new boxes are dreadful. They are gonna have to start making cars smaller to fit them all in on some of these plots

And despite rockstars wages I couldn't justify buying a house in my home (home counties market) town

something has got to give
 
#6
All my houses have been quite old. The house I'm in now is from the 1930's. It's got two bed rooms but my plan is to convert the loft at some time and extend out the back. The back yard is quite big with a long garden and numerous fruit trees.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
UK New builds are the smallest in Europe, shockingly so, we build matchboxes for hippos basically. The majority of new housing is also balloon-framing - hollow frame builds from prefab panels - its cheap and quick and that's why they like it. The mark up on a 4-5 bed is much greater than a 2-3, and for not much more square footage.

There you have it, it's about developers trying to coin it.

Having done recent work for several large firms in this area - I would not touch a new build with yours. Coming from my boat background, I would reject 70% of the wood used straight off, it's not fit for purpose. I would only consider a new build from a company like Huff Haus, or one of their Scandinavian equivalents. Alternatively I would build my own.

My recommendation if you want something new - buy a plot of land and phone Germany:

http://www.huf-haus.com/en/home.html

They have a UK team now:

http://www.huf-haus.com/en/england/london/welcome.html

Alternatively - prewar or proper Oak Framed
 
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#8
Good luck finding a plot of land.
 
#10
House builders not surprisingly build what they will get the best return for their time and investment. So 4 and 5 bedroomed houses it is then!

You will also find that they aren't particularly interested in UK buyers. Most of us haven't got the money.

Before the first corner of brickwork has been put up, they will have opened marketing suites in places like China and Russia.

They want wealthy Chinese and Russians who can actually afford the top wack prices they are charging to buy their big houses. Chinese and Russians see it as both a lucrative and a sensible investment.

Firstly, they have a nice gaff in the UK to come to when they want time off from Russia or China.

Secondly, they can rent the property out and get a very nice return on their investment, sometimes through housing benefit and sometimes through just other wealthy people who want to rent rather than buy for tax reasons. The house builders will even assist the buyers with the renting process if they want.

Thirdly, should it ever kick off big time in China or Russia, they have a secure and ready made bolt hole in a secure politically stable country to get away to without having to worry about sorting out their living arrangements when they get here.

In the meantime, UK residents, particularly our young people, can't get the properties they desperately need to begin their start in life in a reasonably priced affordable home.

Who cares about them though eh?

Certainly not anybody who has any responsibility for housing policy in the UK!
 
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#11
We have a 160 year old farmhouse, built from local brick. The fundamental structure is still sound but the interior was refurbished and insulation added in 2006 just before we bought it. The original bits are fine. The new bits are sh!t.I have spent months sorting out dodgy electrics and plumbing, despite "Certificates of Completion" and a NHBF certificate (not worth the paper it's printed on).

I would never buy a house built after 1970 unless I had personally stripped it down and rebuilt it. Houses round here are expensive because most of them have decent sized plots to go with them. New houses are expensive because they come with fully fitted and equipped kitchens (you are paying extra for the fridge, freezer and dishwasher etc).

Plus, land in the UK is stupid money BECAUSE WE ARE THE MOST OVERCROWDED NATION IN THE EU!!!

Housebuilders are just about profit, they care not a whit about quality or how good the house is to live in. In 1996 I looked at a new house built by David Wilson Homes (one of the more reputable ones). It looked great until I realised that they had tricked the show house out with 3/4 sized furniture, so, the double bed in the main bedroom was only 4' wide. The sofa was more like a padded shelf and the dining table had small plates laid out and smaller than normal sized chairs!

Why no 2/3 beds? Easy, a 4/5 bed takes only 20% more cost to build but gets a 30-40% premium in price. Garage? you can get an old style Mini in but not a new one. My friend Phil bought a modern house with garage (paid a premium to get the garage to keep his Audi TTS under cover) only to find that he could get his car in the garage but there wasn't enough room to open the door and get out!

Plus then builders are told that, to get planning permission, they must build a proportion of "social housing". so you pay half a mil for your 5 bed detached only to find that someone has planted a bunch of 2 bed terraces with housing association tenants at the bottom of your postage stamp garden. Social engineering at its' best.

The T&Cs attached to social housing are such that it's almost impossible to make a decent profit off them. I know this because i have been associated with trying to block a housing development on a green field site and have therefore been through all the planning rigmarole and conditions.
 
#12
Good luck finding a plot of land.
Lands not the problem it bastard planning if you are an individual with a vision you are likely to get fucked off at the high port by your local council planning department

I believe wales is moving in the right direction with "Sustainable" planning law changes

I'm one of those dirty hippies who wants to buy a woodland and live in it cheaply and sustainably (ie cheaply)
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#13
We have a 160 year old farmhouse, built from local brick. The fundamental structure is still sound but the interior was refurbished and insulation added in 2006 just before we bought it. The original bits are fine. The new bits are sh!t.I have spent months sorting out dodgy electrics and plumbing, despite "Certificates of Completion" and a NHBF certificate (not worth the paper it's printed on).

I would never buy a house built after 1970 unless I had personally stripped it down and rebuilt it. Houses round here are expensive because most of them have decent sized plots to go with them. New houses are expensive because they come with fully fitted and equipped kitchens (you are paying extra for the fridge, freezer and dishwasher etc).

Plus, land in the UK is stupid money BECAUSE WE ARE THE MOST OVERCROWDED NATION IN THE EU!!!

Housebuilders are just about profit, they care not a whit about quality or how good the house is to live in. In 1996 I looked at a new house built by David Wilson Homes (one of the more reputable ones). It looked great until I realised that they had tricked the show house out with 3/4 sized furniture, so, the double bed in the main bedroom was only 4' wide. The sofa was more like a padded shelf and the dining table had small plates laid out and smaller than normal sized chairs!

Why no 2/3 beds? Easy, a 4/5 bed takes only 20% more cost to build but gets a 30-40% premium in price. Garage? you can get an old style Mini in but not a new one. My friend Phil bought a modern house with garage (paid a premium to get the garage to keep his Audi TTS under cover) only to find that he could get his car in the garage but there wasn't enough room to open the door and get out!

Plus then builders are told that, to get planning permission, they must build a proportion of "social housing". so you pay half a mil for your 5 bed detached only to find that someone has planted a bunch of 2 bed terraces with housing association tenants at the bottom of your postage stamp garden. Social engineering at its' best.

The T&Cs attached to social housing are such that it's almost impossible to make a decent profit off them. I know this because i have been associated with trying to block a housing development on a green field site and have therefore been through all the planning rigmarole and conditions.
Lovely new apartment block built here, very expensive penthouse suites but the council bunged in a load of asylum seekers, they were I understand a bit of a nuisance smoking and pissing in stair wells.
 
#14
Everything you wanted to know about the cluster that is the UK planing system, but were afraid to ask:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/dlknowles/britains-dysfunctional-property-market-in-gi-fm44#.hsGN8jLyY

Basically the laws are stupid and artificially constrain the supply of land so that land with planning permission is VERY expensive to build on. Hence house builders have to maximise margins (which are small tbf) so they build 'the wrong type of houses'.

The solution involves changing planning rules, but that tends to upset the RSPB, the National Trust and Telegraph readers, which is politically considered to be a Bad Plan.

It's pure coincidence that most of these people already own the houses they want, in the places they want, and are very happy watching the values rise...

Oh, and if you think England is over-crowded, see fact 11:

Just 10.6% of England is classified as “urban”. And that tenth isn’t all concrete: it includes parks, golf courses, gardens, canals, reservoirs and so on. Just 2.27% of England is actually built on.

 
#16
Modern "5-bed" is a big old fib though there's enough actual room for three decent bedrooms and a study/box room and even then there's nowhere to fecking put anything.
We really need to think about how we're going to get the best use out of limited space when building but that doesn't seem to interest either the Kevin McCloud acolytes who assume we all want to live ascetic lives in sterile white rooms or the hose builders who are getting paid ever more money for ever less. What's more they've successfully lobbied multiple times to get the specifications on house size reduced.
Planning laws don't help either as they insist on including what in previous eras would be considered storage space as living space. Which is why, for example, we no longer build houses with any sort of cellar or proper unrefrigerated larder facility even though these are some of the most land and energy efficient storage methods.
 
#17
Oh, and if you think England is over-crowded, see fact 11:

Just 10.6% of England is classified as “urban”. And that tenth isn’t all concrete: it includes parks, golf courses, gardens, canals, reservoirs and so on. Just 2.27% of England is actually built on.

I've seen this trotted out a number of times.

I don't believe it.

Britain has a land area of 229,848 km².

10% of that is 22,985km²

2.27% of that is 5,218km²

London is 1,572km²

Most other cities are between 100 and 250km².

That's before we get to various large towns and road systems...
 
#18
Lovely new apartment block built here, very expensive penthouse suites but the council bunged in a load of asylum seekers, they were I understand a bit of a nuisance smoking and pissing in stair wells.
Apartments? Have you moved to New York? They're flats FFS.
 

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