Is now a good time to build a new home?

House

It’s a roller coaster ride for housing right now, full of ups and downs – with the Government’s latest budget news for first home buyers, a nationwide shortage of building supplies, more houses on the market, falling prices for existing homes and fewer sales.

Published:

Jul 11, 2022

Industry

It’s now more important than ever for anyone building a new home to choose their building company very carefully.

There is no substitute right now for industry experience, the backing of a strong national company and a Master Build Guarantee.

Building a new home has always been a very attractive option for Kiwis – and may become increasingly attractive for first home buyers, now that the Government has removed the house price cap for first home loans and increased the cap for first home grants in many parts of the country.

The grants provide up to $10,000 per buyer for someone meeting KiwiSaver criteria and wanting to withdraw KiwiSaver funds for their first home.

The purchase price cap for a first home grant in the Wellington urban area is now $925,000 for a new home and just $750,000 for an existing home – up from $650,000 (and $550,000 for an existing home) pre budget.

In Auckland the price cap for a first home grant is now $875,000 for a new or existing home – up from $625,000 for an existing home and $700,000 for a new build pre budget.

Not only do the price caps favour new builds in most parts of the country, but there’s no better way to get a home that meets your needs, and is warm, dry and low maintenance. Many Platinum Homes clients – including first home buyers – didn’t initially consider building a new home, but made the decision after finding out it was surprisingly affordable.

They’re often very surprised at the range of choices available to them with a large building company like Platinum Homes and wish they’d made their building decision before spending time and money exploring existing homes.

When you build, you know exactly what you are getting, and there’s no risk of expensive renovation nightmares after you’ve moved in. When you’re planning a new home the choices are all yours – not just what colour walls and carpet you’d like, but also the location, house design, options for walk in wardrobe or pantry, and much more.

We offer a huge range of designs and can accommodate every requirement – from a small, compact townhouse through to a large home with separate space for extended family (or for a home and income option), or for running a business from home. We also offer flexibility for features like an additional bedroom, expansive walk-in pantry, boat storage or additional car garaging. We constantly add new plans and offer many variations for each floor plan. This is what our clients want and what we’re determined to give them.

There is no comparison between buying an existing home and building one to your own precise requirements.

The current building challenge

However, strong demand for new homes and a shortage of building materials – thanks to Covid lockdowns and international shipping delays – is causing headaches for builders and delays for homeowners anxious to move into their new homes.

Even though Platinum Homes is a large company and we are one of our supplier’s biggest clients, we’re still taking our place in the queue for supplies of Gib and other materials – along with every other builder in the country.

The Gib shortage is due to unprecedented demand and is likely to continue until a new manufacturing plant opens in mid-2023.

We are still some way off an end to these shortages and it’s putting pressure on everyone. That’s why our focus is on having really clear and open conversations with current and prospective clients.

We regularly update our clients and tell them what we’re doing to help manage the situation and keep things moving – such as working on outdoor projects like driveways, footpaths and drainage while we wait for Gib and other supplies.

If something seems too good to be true…

We are often asked about timelines by prospective clients, who say they’ve been given completion commitments by other building companies – even before signing a contract.

That might have been possible two years ago, but the world is a different place today. A builder offering a confirmed completion date for building a new house in the current environment is a red flag and you should be very nervous about working with them. There is so much uncertainty about availability of supplies right now that it’s impossible to look too far into the future. We can be comfortable talking about major milestones from week to week, but providing a firm completion date at the outset is just crystal ball gazing.

We are always available to talk to prospective and current clients – giving them an honest, up-front assessment of the situation so that they can make their own decisions.

Building a new home is a big step for anyone and it’s important to have a genuine relationship with your building partner, and to have regular conversations about how it’s going.

Master Build protection

Each Platinum Homes local team is a registered Master Builder and every new home we build is backed by the Master Build 10-year Guarantee for complete peace of mind.

The guarantee covers you for loss of deposit and for non-completion of your home, should anything happen to your original builder. This is on top of our cover for materials and workmanship, and structural defects.

Our clients know their house will be completed, and that they’re protected throughout the building process and for the first decade in their home. It’s hard to beat that level of reassurance.

Platinum Homes has 11 licensees covering 16 regions. New licensees must pass a strict vetting process before being accepted into the family, and the scrutiny doesn’t stop there. Every month we review a financial audit of every licensee, so we have full visibility of everything that’s done under the Platinum Homes brand. This level of oversight means we can confidently provide reassurance to our clients.

We’re prepared to ride the housing roller coaster and do what’s best for you. We stand behind our work completely and we are always available to meet with clients who have any concerns.

By Dave Andrew, Chief Executive of Platinum Homes

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