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  1. Blog
  2. Rebuild over new build: demolitions are saving homeowners thousands
Research & Insights
17 October 2023

Rebuild over new build: demolitions are saving homeowners thousands

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. Demolitions are coming back with a bang…
  2. 2. Why are homeowners turning to demolition over new builds?

Our latest research revealed that homeowners are saving £70,000 by opting to rebuild rather than move to new-build properties. In fact, the number of homes being demolished and rebuilt from scratch has increased by 3.7% over the last year.

Could this method be the latest money saver? We analysed data on the number of property demolitions seen across England, the cost of rebuilding a property from scratch and how this compares to the cost of buying a brand new home in the current market.

Let’s dive in!

Demolitions are coming back with a bang…

The figures showed that over the last decade, demolitions have become a far less common practice. Last year, just 5,680 homes were demolished across England, a 62% drop versus 10 years ago.

But numbers have started to increase again over the last year, up 4% between 2020/21 and 2021/22, reversing a 34% annual reduction seen the previous year. The North East is the driving force behind the surge, boasting a 240% increase in demolished properties in the last year alone. London falls only slightly behind with a 138% increase over the past year.

Why are homeowners turning to demolition over new builds?

While house prices have somewhat cooled over recent months, the pandemic boom has seen them climb considerably and they stay some way above their pre-pandemic peak.

The average new-build property in England has increased by 14% in the last year, jumping up to £421,005 - a boost of £51,292. The value of a detached house followed suit, increasing by nearly £11,000 in a single year, now sitting at an average of £488,853. So for those looking to purchase a new or larger home, buyers need to save a lot more money than they used to.

In contrast, the cost of demolitioning a house is estimated to sit at £32,000, while rebuild costs for a three bed semi detached home sit at £295,778. Although this cost has increased by 21.3% over the last year (£51,889), it’s still significantly cheaper than looking to buy a new-build in the current market at a total of £327,778.

Co-founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, commented:

“While the cost of rebuilding a home has climbed at a similar rate to the price of the average new-build home over the last year, the overall cost of doing so does come in significantly cheaper than the cost of buying new.

This is no doubt a contributing factor to the uptick in demolitions over the last year, with many homeowners simply unable to take the next step up the ladder due to the pandemic boom in house prices.”

This means that homeowners are able to not only increase the potential size of their property, but upgrade it to a brand new home in the process, while still saving a considerable sum of money. A win win!

Colby Short, continued:

“Demolishing your home and starting from scratch may seem like a daunting, expensive task and the cost of doing so will certainly depend on a number of factors such as size, location, professional trade requirements and so on. Not to mention the fact that you will be effectively homeless for a period of time which can cause a great deal of inconvenience.

However, for those with the ambition to tackle such a project, it could pay dividends in the long run.”

If you’re thinking about upping the value of your home, it always helps to know your starting number. Use our Online Valuation Tool for an instant valuation of your property, as well as other properties in the area.

Data tables

Data tables and sources can be viewed online, here.

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