The Increasing demand of self-build homes in the UK

Over the past few years, the increase in demand for self-build homes has gone through the roof (pun intended). Here at Block Architects, we’re receiving a lot more enquires from people who are interesting in finding out more about the process, so we decided it’d be helpful to explain why it has suddenly become so sought-after.

Why has self-build become so popular?

Self-builds now account for around 13,000 new homes in the UK each year and counting, and this figure shows no signs of slowing down. The availability of self-build mortgages, new legislation and increased accessibility means that building your own home has never been more popular.

There are several reasons behind the increased demand for self-build houses, not least of which is the potential to save thousands of pounds when comparing building to buying. Your architect or building contractor is likely to be able to secure a trade discount for some of the materials, and if you’re planning to do some of the labouring yourself then you’ll save even more. You will also be saving money by avoiding any of the renovation work required on existing properties; the room proportions, bathrooms, kitchens and layout will all be designed to your exact specifications.

As well as the potential for self-build homes to be cheaper than buying an existing house, you’ll also find that the process is far easier than it used to be. Concern over the national housing shortage has led the government to be very happy with anyone wishing to build their own property, and so the Right to Build legislation, part of the Self-Build and Custom Build Housing Act, has now been given Royal Assent and will commence as an Act of Parliament later this year.

As part of the Act, local planning authorities are already required to keep a register of individuals and community groups who have expressed an interest in acquiring land for self-build; and once the Act commences it will require all local planning authorities to ensure they have sufficient shovel-ready plots to match localised demand. This means it’s becoming even more accessible for people to create their own homes – the time for self and custom build is now.

The increasing difficulty in securing planning permission to extend existing properties is also encouraging the upward trend in self-builds. It’s no longer quite as easy for houses to grow with expanding families or changing needs, and the ability to factor all of these considerations into a custom-built project is ideal for many. The fact that VAT is payable on renovations but not on self-builds is another significant incentive.

If you’d like to find out more about building your own property, why not contact us? We’re happy to chat through your options and explain the whole process in more detail.


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