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How much can you negotiate off a new build house?

Troy Stevens 31 May 2022

It’s well known that you could end up paying a premium for a brand-new house. But is it possible to negotiate a lower price off a new build house?

Let’s find out.

Do new build houses cost more?

Usually, yes. You can expect to pay a premium on new builds, not least because they’re squeaky clean, unused, and everything should be in perfect working order. Aspects like a high-specification kitchen and bathroom, luxury white goods and a landscaped garden space can all be included to inflate the asking price of a newly built property.

Some new builds come with an extra benefit of lower bills thanks to energy-efficient initiatives such as top-of-the-range insulation and even solar panels. 

Not only this – new builds generally come with a guarantee of up to ten years, giving peace of mind which for some people is worth the extra cash they pay.

Whether these features are worth paying over the odds for is debatable. Some people swear by their new builds, and others think new builds are overpriced. 

However, statistics show that there has been an increase in demand for new builds in recent years, which has driven prices up. Schemes like England’s First Homes initiative have made the demand for new builds even greater.

Can you negotiate a lower price on a new build?

You can try – and you should!

Nobody wants to pay more for something than what it’s worth, so knowing that newly built houses often come with premiums is the key reason you should try to pay less. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a new build might not be the best investment as, thanks to the existing premium, they won’t necessarily increase in value during the time you own them – so bear that in mind when it comes to negotiating with developers on a final price.   

But where should you start with negotiations?

The most important thing to do is arm yourself with information which will put you in a strong position to negotiate. 

The first thing you should do is research similar properties nearby that are a few years old. If they’re selling on the open market for significantly less than the developer is asking for the new build, you’re in a good position to make a lower offer in that same ballpark.

If the development is still being built, you still might be able to secure a property for a lower amount. You don’t know how well the sales are going – and if they’re off to a slower start, the housebuilders might welcome the opportunity to make a sale to get the ball rolling.

If you’re smart, you can determine when the housebuilder’s financial year-end is by checking Companies House. This way, you can make a lower offer just before their year-end to see if there’s a chance they’ll accept it to augment their sales record at the very last minute.

If the houses are being snapped up, don’t panic and pay the full asking price. First, find out what the others are going for. Check the official record online on the Land Registry to discover if the price the developers are asking for is the final price that the houses are being sold at.

Remember – don’t always swallow everything the developers tell you. They often have a good line in sales talk, so make sure you do your own research to substantiate their claims first.

How much can you negotiate off a new build house?

In terms of how much discount you should expect to receive – it really depends on the unique circumstances around that particular developer and housing development. 

However, as a guide, find the lowest amount property of a similar spec in the local area has sold for recently and use that as a starting point. Or you could subtract 20% - 30% of the asking price to reflect the sort of premium usually added to new builds and start from there.

Good luck!

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