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Are Period Homes More Expensive to Maintain Than New-Build Investments?

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    Pre-1919 Homes are Costing Owners £700 in Upkeep Per Month

    Recent research from Rightmove has found that period properties are still in high demand in the UK housing market, with Victorian homes attracting the most interest on the property portal.

    However, a study from another popular portal site, Zoopla, has found that period properties are typically more expensive to maintain. Homes built before 1919 have owners spending an average of £700 a month on upkeep and repairs.

    The research reveals that period property owners have spent an average of over £19,213 on maintenance since the start of 2022. This is nearly two-and-a-half times what non-period homes are costing owners in regard to upkeep, averaging at £8496.

    So, are period properties lucrative real estate investment types for buy-to-let UK investors?

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      New-Build Properties are Typically Cheaper to Maintain

      Looking at the whole period of ownership, which on average is 16.8 years, owners report spending a massive £68,000 on maintenance costs.

      Zoopla states that the most common fixes are required for external parts of the house, such as roofs, brickwork, gardens, walls, and leaning chimneys. Since 2022, those with period properties have paid an estimated £12,865 on these issues, compared to £4314 for newer housing.

      When it comes to internal repairs and upkeep, period homeowners are reported to have spent £6348, while non-period properties have needed £4182. These costs drop down to £2915 for owners of new-build properties built in 2020 or later.

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      Does This Mean Period Properties Aren’t Worth it?

      These extra costs have constituted a surprise for many homeowners. Zoopla states that 22% of period property owners responded that they didn’t realise how much they would need to spend, with some revealing that they didn’t expect any costs.

      39% said that although they anticipated costs, the final amount was more than expected.

      However, 72% of period property owners believe their historic homes are worth the costs, and they don’t regret buying them. They told Zoopla that the main positives they have experienced with a period property are more character (55%), attractive architectural style (45%), and original features (33%).

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        How to Avoid Extra Costs When Investing in Property

        So, how can investors avoid these extra costs when looking for a period property?

        An important step is to invest in a property survey. This can ensure that you identify any problems that may become a financial burden in the future.

        As period properties become more fashionable, there are also many newly renovated period buy-to-lets for sale from high-end real estate companies. By fully refurbishing and restoring a historic building into residential apartments, many developers have taken the good points of period properties, such as the original character and features, and fitted the flats to the same specifications as new builds, meaning less maintenance is likely required.

        For investors who are not particularly enamoured with period properties, a newly built home may be the way to go to ensure minimal maintenance costs, as it is constructed in accordance with the latest building standards and regulations.

        Learn more about the UK property market by reading our dedicated buy-to-let area guides, which examine topics such as investment property available in Doncaster and investment property available in Basildon.

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        Jessica Ferris

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        Jessica Ferris is a property writer at RWinvest, helping our readers stay ahead of property market trends with the latest news and statistics.