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Buyers Prefer SME House Builders: Here’s Why

New research from the Federation of Master Builders suggests that UK homebuyers are over twice as likely to be happy with their new residence if a small or medium-sized house builder constructed it. 

Approximately 36% of those who bought a new build home from an SME builder in the last five years said that they were happy with their property and its overall quality, compared to 17% of those who bought a home built by one of the larger, top 20 firms. 

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said that the research debunks a common misconception that new build homes are of substandard quality compared to period-style properties designed to last a long time. FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said that smaller local firms that make it their mission to deliver high-quality properties found this assumption to be highly frustrating. 

Mr. Berry said that the FMB research emphasises the distinction between SME and larger firm output. For smaller builders, maintaining a good reputation is paramount because they generally live in the same community where they build and are therefore especially motivated to deliver a home that the buyer will love. 

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He explained that SME building firms are more likely to have smaller teams consisting of workers with multiple skills and years of experience, whereas larger housebuilders tend to use only a handful of skilled workers capable of creating fancy archways and other unique architectural touches, and rely on semi-skilled tradespeople to do the bulk of the work. 

Mr. Berry emphasised that the best way to improve the general image of the sector is for all housebuilders, no matter what their size, to make quality a focal point in every project.

Such a move will render the industry more appealing to newcomers, including young people and children, and even make planning committees more amenable to proposals for new developments. 

He said that the UK is in the midst of a major housing shortage, and to make people embrace the idea of additional development, SMEs and large firms alike need to deliver high-quality homes that local residents would be pleased to see in their communities. 

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