New homes finished in the first half of 2005 have an average of 80 defects per property – up over 50% on 2004, and this at a time when some large house builders are announcing vast profits for the first half of 2005 (in excess of £39,000 per home).

This is according to academics at the School of the Built and Natural Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University in conjunction with a home inspection firm who recently released the first ever research paper on snagging defects in new homes, highlighting the decreasing standards of new build housing in the UK.

The data was taken from snagging inspections carried out by Inspector Home over the past four years, which was then analysed by the University. The performance of new homes, the design of new homes, the materials used in new homes and most importantly workmanship issues have all been examined in considerable detail.

Snagging – making a snag list – is the building industry term for the process of finding and fixing all those niggling little (and sometimes not so little) things that go wrong during the building process. Issues always occur with every property built and the best builders will always include a snagging process to catch these items and fix them. Unfortunately even the finest builders don’t seem to get it right, and the recent survey show that the problem is growing. These days the word snagging is more often used to describe just the finding and listing of the snag list.

Initial analysis of over 100,000 defects indicates that snagging levels in Scotland, the South East & the South Midlands are significantly worse than homes in the rest of the UK.

London had the fewest defects per home with an average of 47, however these figures could reflect the smaller size of properties built in the Capital.

Read more: Snagging

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