Mortgage Strategy – ‘Self-builders could create 40,000 homes a year,’ says report

Self-builders could deliver 40,000 new homes a year under proposals set out in a new report commissioned by the Prime Minister.

The government is keen to encourage more people to commission, customise or build their own homes and has already announced plans for a Help to Build Equity Loan Scheme which is due to launch this year.

Ministers have welcomed the report by Conservative MP Richard Bacon, which sets out the changes needed in order to kickstart a much greater number of self-build projects.

The report calls for Homes England to take a greater role with the creation of a Custom and Self Build Housing Delivery Unit to establish serviced plots on housebuilding sites and support delivery at scale.

It highlights the importance of raising awareness of self-builds and providing inspiration to aspiring home owners through a show park.

The report urges the government to provide funding to communities to create more opportunities to build.

It argues for greater use of modern methods of construction (MMC) to create greener homes and help the government reach its net zero housing target.

Bacon encourages the government to align its self-build ambitions with planning reforms in order to maximise the amount of land made available to those looking to commission or build their own homes.

He says that taxation also needs reform in order to create a level playing field between self-build properties and other speculatively built homes.

He believes that following these reforms the sector could scale up to create between 30-40,000 new homes a year.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick says: “As we build back better we want to help more people build their own home, making it an option for thousands who’ve not considered it or ruled it out before.

“This will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.

“I warmly welcome Richard Bacon’s report which matches our ambitions for the custom and self-build sector. We will consider it fully and respond to the recommendations in due course.

“The launch of the Help to Build equity loan scheme will be a game-changer to the self and custom build market and will allow individuals to borrow with lower deposit mortgages which will go towards the design and build of their new home.”

Bacon says: “We need to build more and better new homes.

“Custom and self-build can help achieve this, by putting customers and their choices back at the heart of the process.

“When customers come first, we will see more homes built – that are better designed, better built, greener and which cost less to run – and which are warmly welcomed by their communities.

“This review sets out a route map for how we can achieve this much needed change.”

BuildLoan chief executive Raymond Connor says: “The Bacon Review is a major step forward in accelerating the self and custom build sector and I am fully supportive of the proposals within the report.

“The review lays out the steps to be taken by Government to ensure the missing market of 30,000 to 100,000 of new homes required by consumers is met.

“Importantly, the report recognises the need for more lending capacity going forward to finance what it sees as a great opportunity for truly customisable homes to come to the fore.

“BuildLoan has seen a rise in lender interest in the self and custom build market and expects to bring new products from additional lenders to market later this year.

“The government’s Help to Build Equity Loan Scheme is mentioned in the review as an urgent requirement to facilitate homeownership growth.

“New build brokers will be able to access help and support in respect of the scheme through BuildLoan when details are announced.”

Credit: Leah Milner