You should haggle on new builds, new data confirms

While new builds come with a premium, they typically sell for 14% less than the original asking price, suggesting there’s some wiggle room for buyers who want to haggle for a better price, research from Unlatch has found.

The average new-build home in Britain sells for £394,699, a 36% premium compared to the wider national average house price of £289,807.

However this is -£63,753 less than their original asking price, of £458,452.

Lee Martin, head of UK for Unlatch, said: “As a nation, we Brits aren’t known for our negotiating skills. And even when we do give it a go, it usually surrounds second-hand goods such as cars and antiques. Very few of us are even aware that new-build house prices are up for reasonable negotiation and they’re not set in stone.

“Incentives such as money towards your stamp duty, legal fees, furniture packs and even mortgage and/or service charge fees are popular incentives developers often offer during the lifespan of the scheme. It should be noted that these incentives are offered either at the start or end of a development, or throughout if the sales are slow in order to kick start the momentum, so everyone wins.

“So, if you’re in the market for a new-build, always be prepared to negotiate with the developer. The chances are that their asking prices are set at a level they are happy to reduce slightly for a quality buyer in a proceedable position who is bold enough to ask for a discount.

“The lesson is, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?”

In London the difference between new-build asking prices and sale prices is even bigger. Homes come to the market with an average price tag of £712,503 but actually sell for -20% less at £567,526.

In both the South West and North East, new-builds sell for -13% less than their asking price and, in Scotland, the saving for those who haggle is -12%.

In Wales, the East Midlands, and East of England, the potential saving is smaller but still significant at -2%.

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