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Press Office

New vs Old: Nation divided when it comes to their favourite period of home

Admiral reveals what Brits really think about new builds and period properties

  • New properties crowned the nation’s top choice of housing
  • Belfast has the highest proportion of modern homes (30.6%) while London has the highest proportion of period properties (25.9%)
  • Homeowners willing to pay MORE for a second bathroom, large garden and a big hallway
  • Size does matter: top three new build turn offs are all about being too small
  • High maintenance, high cost of utilities and potential listed building status put homebuyers off older properties

A new investigation from Admiral Home Insurance has revealed that newly built properties are the nation’s favourite style of home, despite concerns over inadequate room sizes and a lack of character.

With over three quarters of a million new houses built in the UK in the last 5 years alone, research from Admiral has found that almost a quarter (23%) of people would pick a new-build home over any other period property if they had the choice.

Modern houses are followed by Victorian properties (built 1838 – 1900) as the nation’s favourites - characterised by bay, sash style windows, patterned brickwork made from coloured bricks and stained glass in doors and windows.

The third favourite style are Georgian style properties (built 1721 – 1810) with typically symmetrical formations, multi-paned windows and traditional features like cornicing appealing to buyers.

New builds: The pros and cons, according to Brits

When it comes to buying a house, Admiral found that buyers have a clear impression of what newly constructed  properties have to offer, and what they don’t.


Top attributes of new build properties



Eco friendly



Low maintenance



Low running costs



Convenient layouts





Showing that the environment is high on the agenda of home-owners, over two thirds (70%) of people positively associate new builds with being eco-friendly.

Meanwhile, low maintenance (69%) and running costs (64%) are the second and third attributes commonly associated with this type of home.

However, when it comes to the cons of a new build, size really does matter. The top three turn-offs for Brits when it comes to new houses are the bedrooms being too small (38%), the living space being too small (37%) and the garden being too small (36%).

Meanwhile, lack of character (35%) was also a turn off for over a third of people, followed by new builds being ‘overpriced’ or charged at a premium (31%).


Worst attributes of new build properties



Bedrooms too small



Living space too small 



Garden too small  



Lack of character



Overpriced/ charged at a premium