SEVENTY-nine per cent of house-hunters would prefer to buy a brand new home, as opposed to renting or buying a second-hand property, according to a new Barratt Homes survey.

That represents a 27 per cent increase in the popularity of new builds since the homebuilder conducted the same research in 2008.

The 5,000 people polled this time around noted that new homes offer low maintenance, low running costs, high specifications and solid construction.

Jan Ruston, a sales director for Barratt Homes, said: “With schemes like the Government-backed NewBuy 95 per cent mortgage scheme, buyers can buy a brand new home with as little as a five per cent deposit.”

Thirty three per cent of those polled had been saving a deposit for more than five years, and 60 per cent of respondents admitted to being assisted by their parents in buying a home, including as a guarantor (eight per cent), providing a loan (nine per cent) to help with furnishing the property (27 per cent) or help with a deposit (20 per cent).