New build extras

These days, new build extras include everything from flooring and tiles to work surfaces and taps. However, with new products coming on the market all the time, it can be a challenge for housebuilders to keep up to speed with the latest innovations. Here, Lisa Ward, senior product manager at Bristan, highlights some key kitchen and bathroom trends that can be leveraged to entice new homebuyers.

On average, British homebuyers spend only 25 minutes 30 seconds viewing a potential property before deciding whether to buy it. With the typical UK home costing around £250,000, this amounts to approximately £9,804 per minute for a home some will own for an entire lifetime.

Given the importance of the purchasing decision, it is surprising to find that people don’t take longer to assess their options, particularly when you consider what goes into making the final verdict on a property.

Typically, homebuyers like to picture how their furniture will fit in various rooms and how they might spend time sitting around the dining table or relaxing watching TV. And increasingly, people will look for options that allow them to personalise their home.

One of the advantages of new builds is that they provide new owners with a blank canvas that they can personalise as they like, helping to make it feel like home from the offset.

But developers are coming under pressure to offer buyers the opportunity to make their new home unique to them with a wider range upgrade options.

Here’s three hot kitchen and bathroom trends that developers should be aware of as they look forward to 2019 and beyond.

Functional extras

Consumers are becoming more trend-aware when it comes to their kitchens and bathrooms, and this means they’re more willing than ever to splash out on quality products that have additional features from the standard. As home technology advances, exciting new products are emerging that provide developers with opportunities to upsell to prospective homeowners.

For example, in the kitchen we’re seeing innovative new products such as increasingly intelligent boiling water taps, which combine hot, cold and boiling water in one classic styled design. With an estimated 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in the UK, these taps could soon make kettles obsolete. Instead of waiting 3 minutes a day (or 18 hours a year!) for the kettle to boil, users to simply twist a handle for instant hot water.

Boiling taps have rapidly grown in popularity over recent years, along with advances in technology such as new safety features. Products now come with in-built safety features such as a safe to touch spout, a push and turn safety button for boiling water and a non-spit outlet for safe and comfortable use.

High-end design

In the UK, the kitchen and bathroom product market has seen solid growth over the last few years, helped by the boom in house building. Growth for kitchen products is expected to rise faster than other areas of the home because increasingly consumers perceive kitchens as the heart of the home – a hub for cooking, eating and entertaining.

Consequently, homebuyers will invest to create a stylish room, enhanced with lighting, decorative touches and the latest technology. And developers must meet these expectations if they are to attract more buyers.

Products that were once thought of as small finishing touches – such as taps – could make the crucial difference for potential homeowners who want to put a real stamp on their new home.

As a result, more and more manufacturers are releasing products which combine high-end design with functions to match individual personalities. For example, following the rise of home-baking in the wake of shows like The Great British Bake Off, taps are now available which offer precise water delivery, perfect for buyers who consider cooking and baking to be a central part of their personality and lives.

Easy-fit products

Another trend that can prove beneficial for housebuilders is the emergence of products that are fast and easy to install. This can save valuable time on site, reducing costs and keeping projects on schedule.

In recent months, specialised sinks have become available which are designed to make life easier for installers, whilst offering effortless style updates to homeowners. Clever easy-to-fit technology and pre-fitted flexi tails mean that selected taps can be fixed to these sinks with minimum fuss, enormously speeding up the installation process. And, when the householder decides they need a kitchen update, the existing tap body can easily be unscrewed and replaced by another model from the same range for a brand new look in a matter of minutes. By specifying these packages on new builds, developers can offer customers the ultimate ease of upgrade.

With consumer preferences constantly changing, it is important for housebuilders to take a flexible approach to new build extras that gives buyers the widest possible choice. Growing societal trends for personalisation combine with technological advances to provide developers with more opportunities to offer a greater level of customisation and functionality than ever before.