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One in three people would build their own house, research shows

Coming just days after the government unveiled a new action plant for the self build industry, the data from the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) shows strong demand for self build.

It found that 30% would consider having their own home individually built in the next five years if the finance was available and 12% would consider undertaking a self build project within the next 12 months.
At one time the self build market was estimated to be a healthy 20,000 homes a year. Now, the Government is backing a drive to boost the market from the current 15,000 to nearer 50,000 homes a year, and has set up working parties to help cut red tape and make the process easier.

The biggest attraction of a carrying out a self build, with 42% in agreement, was to create a home that suited a person's individual wants and needs. Just over one quarter, 26%, were attracted by the likelihood of a self build working out significantly cheaper than buying an equivalent established property.
And a fifth, 21%, said they were attracted to self build because they could make a more efficient and environmentally friendly home than with an established property.

N&P, which offers self-build mortgages at up to 80% loan to value, has been one of the pioneers in the market to help people build their dream home.

‘Self build is a market with huge potential which could have many benefits for those willing to carry out a self build project, not to mention the benefits for the general economy and some of the problems surrounding the housing market in this country,’ said Richard Barker, mortgage manager at N&P.

Around 15,000 people build their own homes in the UK every year according to the National Self Build Association (NaSBA) and the market is worth about £2 billion but that is only 1.4% of the overall UK mortgage market.

More people have a property built to their own specification than are built by any of the UK's dedicated house builders, and it accounts for around 15% of all housing stock. But the proportion is low compared with Europe, where nearly half of all houses are self built.

The National Self Build Association (NaSBA) wants to increase the self build market to £6 billion and 50,000 homes a year, which would be more in line with other countries. Housing minister Grant Shapps wants to open up self build to more people and is holding working groups to discuss how to finance it.

‘This research proves that people are genuinely interested in building their own home, if they can get the right products to help them. There are many myths that need to be dispelled around self build, for example, you don't have a background in the construction industry or know the difference between a chisel and a trowel. You don't even have to get your hands dirty at all as it is quite common for people to employ a project manager, and you can get a mortgage to help you buy the land you want your home to be built on,’ explained Barker.

‘We welcome the work that Grant Shapps, the Government and the Working Group are doing to promote self build. There are a number of challenges which the industry needs to address, including the availability of land. Individuals and lenders shouldn't be put off by self build, it is no more risky than other ownership models and we, as a responsible mutual society, are fully behind the initiative to empower more people in the UK to build their own homes,’ he added.