What is classed as a new build property?

As we’ve talked about before, the new build conveyancing process has some additions that make it slightly more complex and time consuming. While this should by no means a deal breaker for buyers, it’s important to be aware of. Similarly, property buyers should take care to ensure they don’t unexpectedly purchase a new build property. 

Reading this blog will guarantee you avoid this scenario as it establishes how to classify new build homes.


Definition of a new build 

The term ‘new build’ has a legal definition that applies to a range of buildings and structures. This is “the development and construction of a new generating or storage facility that is not an upgrade or redevelopment of an existing generating or storage facility”. While this might apply to commercial properties, the definition of a new build in residential conveyancing is different.


New build properties in conveyancing 

While the name implies that all new build homes must undergo construction as part of their conveyancing process, this is not always the case. Properties purchased before developers have finishing with building are known as ‘off-plan’. Otherwise, new builds are defined as either: 

  • Homes that have not been lived-in since their construction, which took place within the past two years.  
  • Properties that have undergone substantial redevelopment to where only a small amount of the original structure remains. 

These definitions are widely recognised among conveyancers. For example, our new build advice for residential conveyancing Gateshead and the surrounding area will identify properties in this way. Crucially, a property will lose its new build status once the buyer moves in, thereby affecting the value when the time comes that they want to sell. 

However, new build classifications can differ based on different mortgage lenders. Where Nationwide, NatWest and HSBC follow the two-year timeframe for new builds, Santander sets this limit at one year from the final day of construction. On the other hand, Barclays judges the age of new build properties as being less than two years from the date of registration, rather than construction.  

Lenders may also consider when a house is classed as a new build based on the building’s occupancy. For example, some will give the new build classification to recently built properties that have only been lived-in by rental tenants. Lesser-known lenders may have their own unique rules around new build houses, so it’s worth checking before confirming any loans.


Expert new build conveyancing Consett 

Toomey Legal provides a wide range of conveyancing services to enable clients to make new build purchases. Contact us for fixed fee quick conveyancing Cramlington, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Whitley Bay, among other areas in the North East. Our professional residential and commercial conveyancers act fast to ensure your plans can go ahead as you envisioned. To this end, we also provide practical advice and solutions that aren’t hidden behind legal jargon.