Posted on 21st April 2017

More Support than Ever for Self-Builders

Martin Williamson, Director and Head of Residential Property
Martin Williamson, Director and Head of Residential Property

Many people dream of building their own home, creating a space to their own individual wants and needs that they can live in forever – or at least until they move on to build something better.

In the past few years more and more UK homes have been custom built as buyers rebel against the growing trend of ‘boring’ houses that lack character. While in the past this might have seemed like something only the very rich or guests on the Channel 4 show Grand Designs could afford, self-build properties are now an achievable reality for a growing number of homeowners.

The good news is that there is now more support than ever for those self-build dreamers. Given the housing shortage the UK is currently experiencing, it is of little surprise that one of the big takeaway points from the Government’s recently published Housing White Paper was the ongoing support for the self and custom builds. This followed on from the passing of last year’s Right to Build legislation, which requires local authorities to grant planning permission for 18,000 serviced plots by November 2019.

The Government made it clear in the white paper, entitled Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, that it wants to “make it easier for people who want to build their own homes” – but how exactly does it plan on doing this?

There are several measures, which have already been outlined, including support for small and medium (SME) builders, innovative offsite methods of construction and a streamlined planning process.

SMEs are expected to benefit from greater use of Local Development Orders, which is designed to accelerate the speed at which smaller building plots can be brought forward for development. The orders are made by local planning authorities and give a grant of planning permission to specific types of development within a defined area, removing the need for developers to make a planning application to a local planning authority, saving time and money for those involved in the planning process. Savings, which will hopefully benefit the pockets of buyers, as well as developers.

While some potential private builders might have the luxury of paying for their land and the cost of the house up front with savings, this won’t be an option for everyone. Luckily, the introduction of ‘Buy to Build’ mortgages offers some freedom for people looking to borrow money to fund their grand design project. However, these mortgages are often only available to cover a maximum of 75% of the land costs and up to 60% of the building cost, so the buyer still needs to have a large deposit to qualify for the product. Not all mortgage lenders offer a ‘Buy to Build’ mortgage option, so it is worth discussing this with an independent financial advisor or a mortgage broker if this is something you wish to pursue.

Although the idea of building your own home might seem like a pipe-dream for some people, it is valuable to know that the help is out there and available. If you want a new build but the developers’ properties aren’t sparking your interest, this may be an interesting and affordable option for you.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.

For further information call Latimer Hinks on 01325 341500