The House of Commons debated self and custom build with MPs and the Housing Minister last night with both pledging their support to grow the sector.
The chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group of self and custom build, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, organised the debate after hearing about the huge level of demand there is from people keen to build their own homes.
The criticism of the standard house types delivered by many volume house builders and the price of home in the UK compared to many other countries was also heard.
Richard Bacon said:
“The multiple of average income that is required to buy an average house is now nine times, when years ago it was three or four times. The position has got a lot worse even in the past 10 years or so. One has only to look at the decline in the proportion of people who own a house to see how desperate many young people must feel and how difficult they must regard the future in terms of achieving what their parents achieved.”
The MP also highlighted the opportunities there were for groups of people to band together to deliver community-led self-build housing projects like those currently being built in Germany and the Netherlands.
In reply the Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
“Many people would love to own their own home. Research by Ipsos MORI has shown that more than 1 million people want to do so in the immediate future. That strong level of interest is not surprising. Custom build and self-build housing offers people more choice and the ability to design a home to suit their own needs, leading to greener and better designed homes. In many cases, they are more affordable than buying a home in the conventional way.”
“A report published by Lloyds Banking Group concluded that self-builders can save between 20% and 25% on the cost of an equivalent home on the open market, a crucial saving for those who are trying to get on the housing ladder.”
The Minister concluded the debate by saying he felt that custom and self-build should be a mainstream housing option in this country.