A bundle of major measures in yesterday’s Budget should give the self and custom build sector the largest boost it’s ever received.
Although George Osborne’s speech only included a brief mention of the sector, more comprehensive details from the Treasury and the Portal reveal that:
- To help deliver up to 10,000 serviced building plots, £150m of funding will be made available.
- People will have a new ‘Right to Build’ – whereby they can formally challenge local authorities not providing opportunities or land for self and custom builders.
- In conjunction with the extra £6bn the Government is providing to extend the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, it is keen to find a way to help self-builders qualify for a 20% equity loan too.
Welcoming the package, Ted Stevens, Chair of the National Self Build Association (NaSBA) said:
“This is the biggest demonstration of Government support the industry had ever had. It could effectively double the sector’s output in a very short period of time, and I’m confident it will lead to a massive increase in people looking to build their own homes”.
Government however will hold a consultation exercise with regards to how the Right to Build idea will work this in the summer. It could take up to 2015 if legislation is required to introduce the new measures, however if it’s merely a case of altering Government policy the new powers could be introduced later this year.
The Government will also be recruiting a number of ‘vanguard’ councils which will be provided with financial support to test the concept and steer the new idea.
The £150m that is being made available is more or less an extension of the current Custom Build Investment Fund. This £30m pot of money was set to run out in 2015. The new fund will be focused solely on providing serviced building plots as this is where immediate demand from would-be self- builders is believed to be. People will be able to borrow money in order to buy land, split it into serviced plots, and then repay the loan once the plots have been sold.
“There are seven million people currently researching how to build their own homes, so these measures as a whole, and especially the additional building plots will help a lot more of them turn their dreams into a reality”, said Stevens
The Chancellor’s announcement on Sunday regarding the new 15,000 home garden city at Ebbsfleet will also lead to a number of self-build opportunities as the Government will require the new Development Corporation to include substantial provision for people seeking to build their own homes.