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“Build to own” could kick start construction boom

Sector could be crucial in solving housing crisis

May 24, 2013

If the “build to own” sector created as many homes as it does in many European countries the UK could see 300,000 new homes built every year. This is approximately the level required to bring house prices down over the long term. Currently about 230,000 new households are created every year, but only 100,000 new homes are being built.

Achieving this would require significant backing from the public, private and third sectors for “build-to-own” initiatives similar to those now being seen in the “build-to-let” sector. What is required is land and money. Landowners must be incentivised to bring forward fully serviced plots for self build and financing for homes before they become mortgageable.

Homeownership has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years and if the government is serious about reversing this damaging trend then build to own must be boosted. Used effectively alongside speculative housebuilding, subsidised renting and open-market renting, “build-to-own” could significantly add to both housing output, especially on large sites, and the creation of varied and real neighbourhoods.


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