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Could self-build costs increase?

According to the latest State of Trade survey from the Federation of Master Builders, 70% of UK builders have seen an increase in material prices due to the depreciation of the pound since the EU referendum.


According to the research 70% of smaller building firms have experienced increased costs because of the weakened currency, with additional increases of 10%-15% expected.

Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB commented:

“Construction SMEs are already reporting an increase of 22% in Spanish slate and 20% increase in timber. A quarter of all materials used by the UK construction industry are imported “ this is significant and underlines the vulnerability of the industry to sudden fluctuations in the strength of our currency. The combined pressure of higher material prices and the rising cost of skilled labour represents a serious challenge to builders.”

What this means is that self-builders and renovators could start to see the cost of their building projects increase, but is there anything that can be done to mitigate the effect? The Self Build Portal talks to NaCSBA’s self-build representative Peter Johns for his expert opinion:

How will this materials price increase impact on the cost of self-building?

If materials price rises they will be passed on to self-builders, whether they are buying themselves, using a main contractor or going through a package company, unless they have already started and are on a fixed price contract. If the project hasn’t started, I think there will be little self-builders can do to escape price increases entirely (whether the supplier is a manufacturer, importer, package company, they will need to pass on some or all their extra costs).

Should self-builders put off until things are more stable?

Well, that assumes they might get better! Things COULD get worse the pound could fall further; a hard Brexit could mean an even worse shortage of skilled tradesman if immigration rules are tightened. No one has a crystal ball. Delaying could be good but equally could be worse.

In terms of budget-saving, do you have any advice for prospective self-builders?

Do not skimp on quality structural components – things that are hard and costlier to change later. Where you can save money is on the things like kitchens and bathrooms, or floor coverings – anything that is more temporary or easily replaced. For example, buy a cheap kitchen and save a few thousand pounds with a view to replacing it in a few years’ time. Chances are that once you’ve lived in the house for a while you might want to change the layout anyway.


Self Build Portal

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Third consecutive annual rise in custom and self-build in the United Kingdom

Is the custom build marketplace going to play any genuine part in the Governments effort to build 1.5 million new homes by 2022? The answer seems to be yes if the continuous annual growth of the marketplace is considered.

Third consecutive annual rise in custom and self-build in the United Kingdom

New research has found the custom and self-build market has experienced year-on-year growth of 6.25%. Homebuilding and Renovating published the The Self and Custom Market Report last month which forecast the market to reach 16,500 home completions by 2020, if the market continues at its current pace.

The Report, which was supported by NaCSBA includes comprehensive analysis of the current custom and self-build sector and will act as a useful tool for policy makers at local and national levels. Read more ›

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Where are people self-building in Ireland? Top counties revealed…

Republic of Ireland (ROI) witnessed a 30 per cent growth in self-builds between 2015 and 2016 while Northern Ireland (NI) statistics show a 20 per cent growth in new dwelling starts between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017.


The number of commencement notices issued in 2016 grew 30 per cent on average in ROI with Co Cork leading the way. Self-built house building commencement figures for the first two months of 2017 show further growth: roughly 50 per cent year on year for January 40 per cent year on year for February and 20 per cent year on year for March.

In NI, new dwelling starts statistics from District Council Building Control mix all private new builds, so the figures include developer-led housing. There were 20 per cent more new starts in Q1 2017 than during the same period last year.

Click on your region below to find out who’s building where. Read more ›

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BuildStore CEO Raymond Connor says, “We need to review what custom build really means.”

Over the past 12 months, custom build has been a buzzword within our industry. However, not much has happened over the last year. This was down to the fact that there were very few companies within the wider property sector that knew much about the market’s potential.

custom build

However, the recent Housing White Paper, which has effectively given government endorsement to custom build, has had an enormous effect and brought this route to homeownership to the forefront of people’s minds in the industry.

Since the Paper was published we, BuildStore, have had renewed interest from lenders who are attracted to custom build due to the assistance that professional developers can offer to purchasers.

We are in the process of speaking to a variety of lenders about what custom build entails, and the advantages of entering the market. However, the question always asked by lenders is: “What is the difference between self-build and custom build?”

Each month we seem to have a more firmed up view that custom build is all about developer involvement, with developers providing the opportunities. Read more ›

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2017 tender and building costs are poised to grow at a faster rate than in 2016

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland released their PwC Construction Survey Report 2017 this week, showing that their Tender Price Index increased 6 per cent over the course of 2016.

tender and building costs

“If price inflation continues to grow at the current level, it is anticipated that pricing levels will return to the levels last seen in 2006 and 2007 in the next few years,” commented the authors.

The clear majority of respondents (90 per cent) expected an uptake in residential construction activity in 2017.

The good news for self-builders is that despite the increase in tender costs, the cost of building has only increased marginally over the same period. Read more ›

Posted in Self Build Zone News

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