New-build housing - how regulation can improve the consumer journey

Launched in December 2023, this report looks into the consumer protections in place to hold developers to account for quality failures in new-build housing.

This report, focusing on the quality, or perceived lack of quality of new-build housing, looks to raise awareness of the new regulatory frameworks that have been put in place to ensure that consumers are experiencing a high-quality service when purchasing and occupying a new home. 

To assist consumers and help them understand what they can do to hold their housebuilder to account for any failings in quality, CIOB has produced a full report on the state of play in the new-build housing market. The report highlights its role in delivering new homes, looks at why there has been such a negative perception of the quality of new-build homes in recent years and uses data from a specially commissioned poll of UK adults to understand whether the general public trust housebuilders to deliver a quality product. 

While it can be seen that the overall quality of new-build housing has increased in recent years it is still true that inconsistencies and issues can occur during construction. Therefore, it is paramount that consumers understand that they do have access to a variety of avenues to help identify any issues and get them fixed through their housebuilder, primarily through commissioning a snagging survey. Alongside this, there are new legal protections in place through the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) and New Homes Ombudsman (NHO) which provide recourse and free advice and guidance to purchasers where quality issues occur during the purchasing process, occupation or post-sale. The reports breaks these down in an easy to understand manor and is supported by interviews with a snagging company, the NHQB and NHO.  

To raise awareness of these mechanisms, CIOB has produced a short consumer advice guide that sits alongside the full report that breaks down the role of snagging surveys, the NHQB and NHO in a handy FAQs. The guide also provides some top tips for consumers to make sure they are getting the high quality product they deserve. 

To read the full report* or the consumer advice document, click the download buttons below. 

* Please note this is version 2 of the report which features an amendment on page 32 to include more up-to-date and accurate figures on the relationship between NHQB and housebuilders.

New-build housing - how regulation can improve the consumer journey

Click here to read the full report.

CIOB's Top Tips for New Home Buyers

  • Check if the housebuilder is registered with the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB). Around 80% of developers in England are registered, or are currently going through registration, and if they are they are committed to a well defined set of standards called the New Homes Quality Code (NHQC).
  • If the housebuilder isn’t registered with the NHQB ask them about any other codes or standards, they may be signed up to.
  • Employ a reputable snagging company to visit your property before you move in or within the first few weeks of moving in, to check for defects. Not all defects can be seen by the untrained eye so getting in a professional to thoroughly check the property over is highly recommended.
  • If your snagging company finds any defects, report them to the housebuilder immediately and refer back to the NHQC or their own set of standards.
  • Your housebuilder must be given the opportunity to rectify any issues with the property before you take your complaint further.
  • If the housebuilder doesn’t resolve the problems to a satisfactory standard or if no agreement can be made on fixing the problem, you can take your complaint to the New Homes Ombudsman (NHO).
  • The NHO will also deal with problems in the purchasing or post-sale experience processes. 

Consumer advice guide

Click here to read our short consumer advice guide with our top tips for those buying a new home.

Guidance for homeowners

If you are planning a construction project, the CIOB provides a range of resources and guidance to support homeowners

Guidance for homeowners