Self-build still growing, especially for those aged 50-60
Self-build is one of the few areas in construction that didn’t have a dramatic fall off. The self-build sector only fell by 8% in 2020, which equated to 13,900 completions, with a market value of around £4.3bn. It is worth noting that this is a sector that is much smaller in scale than any of the others and were more likely to have remained open during the different lockdowns as things like social distancing would be much easier to enforce due to fewer people being on site at any one time.
The main age group of self-builders is people in their 50’s and 60’s. they are of an age group where they are more likely to self-fund their projects by using either saving, equity release from an already owned property, revenue from the sale of a property or using properties as collateral against a remortgage.
In around 50% of projects the clients are the one who will take on the role of project manager. This will usually put them in control of such activities as sub-contracting tradesmen. Other approaches for self-build will be a contractor led project, developer led, turnkey package providers and also client DIY.
January 2021 saw the government launch a new £100m Brownfield Land Release fund to support brownfield development. A significant portion of this fund is to go to self and customer builders. When many of the challenges faced by self-builders are things such as the availability of suitable land and obtaining planning permission, this fund from the government should help and thus be a steady source of growth in the medium term.
Where the self-build market is set for growth over the next few years it is worth noting how wide ranging this type of market is. With the majority of self-build plots being available in Scotland and London offering the fewest, there is a clear north/south divide in not just availability but also in cost of both land and labour. Will this change in a post Brexit and post pandemic world? With some choosing to postpone until there is less economic uncertainty, AMA Research are expecting a moderate growth in this sector.