Why would anyone want to buy a new house from a spec builder? They’re invariably ugly, everything apart from the actual walls and roof is made of plastic and they’re held together with squirty glue.
One reason may be that they are built to meet the latest energy efficiency requirements so they should cost next to nothing to heat.
Another is that they come with a two-year builders’ warranty and the NHBC guarantee – something you won’t get when you buy a “second-hand” home.
But in November a Channel 4 “Dispatches” programme quoted an NHBC survey that found 93%of buyers reported problems with their new homes. “Dispatches” spoke to buyers whose new homes had - among other defects - ill-fitting doors, a complete absence of thermal insulation and extensive damp and black mould.
In the house-building market “speed, numbers and profit have always been more important than quality," said a former site manager. In other words it's about making money, not satisfying housing need.
In this issue of the magazine, our Sector Focus looks at the Top 20 UK house-builders…and - financially, at least - they’re doing remarkably well.
Review of the year