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The Government’s self-build revolution has failed to spark

Self-builds fall despite pledge to inspire a generation of self builders

February 25, 2013

Almost three years ago the former housing minister Grant Shapps, declared that self builds were the answer to the housing crisis and that he would push forward a “revolution” which would see the proportion of new builds constructed in this way soar from 10% to 25%. The latest report from the respected Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, shows that in the year to September 2012 the number of self-build homes completed across the UK was 11,870 representing only about 9% of the total volume of new homes.

The major stumbling block for self-builders has been restricted access to mortgage finance. Last May the Government declared that the number of mortgages available to self-builders was set to increase by 141%. However, this has not been the experience of many.

“The self-build mortgage market hasn’t recovered in the same way as the mainstream – it has actually got worse,” says Calum Kerr, a self-build specialist at mortgage broker SPF. “Lloyds TSB and Halifax pulled out of the self-build market last month while the building societies who offered a large proportion of self-build options pre-2008 now need to keep far more on the balance sheet for development funding than they do for mainstream lending. This is putting them off offering it in the first place” he says.

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