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 conduct-ed 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 construc-tion.

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).