The self build market is part of the larger overall UK housebuilding sector which is defined as the number of dwelling built in the United Kingdom and includes all private sector, local authority and housing association properties. Self build (including custom build) is housing built by individuals or groups of individuals for their own use. Market value is also affected by materials and labour costs which can fluctuate significantly depending upon the area of the country and also the local skills base.
Confidence remains a key factor which can affect the value of self builds but also the types of construction and finishing materials used. Whilst some potential self builders may choose to defer projects until economic times are more certain, the self-funded self builder is more than likely to continue with plans for their project regardless of the current economic uncertainty.
A key factor driving up self build growth rates since 2013 has been the UK-wide growth in house prices. This has allowed mature self builders, mostly in their mid-50s to mid-60s, to self-fund their projects using either savings, equity release, revenues from property sales or using existing properties as collateral against remortgages or other types of loan.
Self build and custom build has been encouraged through the Localism Act in 2011, whereby local authorities both assess demand for self build and provide land for development. However, the availability of suitable or desirable and affordable plots continues to be one of the biggest constraints to the growth in the uptake of self build in the UK, particularly in London and the Home Counties and is the main reason why many projects fail from the outset.
The future prospects for the self build market at present remain positive but relatively modest. Whilst these forecasts may seem pessimistic in the light of the larger Government targets which have been suggested, our forecasts have been tempered by a number of key drivers including a general lack of consumer confidence due to the uncertain economy, a relatively constrained mortgage market, and ongoing constraints in the planning system.