The Government has launched its First Homes scheme with the initial properties in the scheme going on the market in the Bolsover district, East Midlands.
The scheme is designed to help young people and key workers onto the housing ladder, and is the flagship model in the ‘Own Your Home’ website. The new site illustrates the range of support available to help people access a home of their own, and includes the Help to Build scheme – yet to open for bids – and NaCSBA’s Self Build Portal.
As the showpiece of the campaign, the First Homes scheme has been designed for local first-time buyers, enabling them to purchase a property with a discount of at least 30% compared to the market price.
The discount is maintained in perpetuity for first-time buyers, meaning that when the home is sold the discount is able to be passed on to the new purchaser, as long as they fit the criteria. This ensures that the homes will always be sold below market, as long as it is first time buyers that buy it.
The scheme has been designed to specifically support key workers, such as NHS staff and veterans, and in turn offering wider benefits to local communities and enable them to stay in the communities where they live and work.
The initial First Homes properties went on the market in the Bolsover district, East Midlands, with a further 1,500 being market over the coming year. Government expects this to deliver 10,000 homes a year, which could be increase if there is demand.
The Halifax, Nationwide Building Society and a range of local building societies and community lenders have committed to providing high loan-to-value mortgages for First Homes to support the scheme.
Delivery of the scheme is part of the government’s wider pledge to build one million new affordable homes in this Parliament and help put home ownership within reach for people across the country. Help to Build is part of this commitment, which is also expected to boost housing delivery by enabling more people to custom and self build.
The Help to Build Scheme is designed to support self and custom home building, allowing it to become a realistic option for more people wishing to get on to the housing ladder through lower deposit mortgages.
Lowering the required deposit will free up capital, so people can build the home that they want and need – whether it’s a made to order home on a multi-plot site or a stand alone self build. The scheme will provide an equity loan on the completed home, similar to the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme.
The government’s ‘Own Your Home’ campaign showcases the full range of home ownership options supported by government, such as the the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme which helps first-time buyers secure a mortgage with just a 5% deposit.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “Enabling more people to buy their own homes is at the heart of the mission of this government, and First Homes will offer a realistic and affordable route into home ownership.
“Thanks to First Homes, we will offer more homes to local people and families, providing a route for first-time buyers to stay in their local areas rather than being forced out due to rising prices.
“First Homes will also support our fantastic key workers who are looking to get their first foot on the housing ladder – from front-line doctors and nurses to delivery drivers and supermarket staff – by giving many of them the chance to buy a home at a 30% discount.”
Specialist self and custom build mortgage broker Buildstore Mortgage Services has shared with the Self Build Portal the fact that lending for the sector is in great shape currently, with a wide selection of products available.
For anyone looking to build their own home, the first thing people want to find out is how much they can realistically borrow. According to Buildstore Mortgage Services, the average value of a completed self build property it arranged finance for last year was just over £600,000, with the typical client borrowing around half of the final value of the home.
For those whose aspirations are a little higher, BuildStore confirms that interest at the higher end of the self build market is continuing to grow and mortgage lenders are keen to tap into this demand.
Chris Martin, Head of Product Development and Underwriting at BuildStore, commented: “We are seeing more potential self builders looking for mortgages over £1 million to help them build their exciting forever home. We work very closely with lenders to develop products that reflect changing market needs and we have a number of mortgage deals available for larger loans.
At NaCSBA we know that building your own home has many benefits – with self builders securing a home where they want to live, in a property designed by them to meet their own specific needs and circumstances. But BuildStore confirms that self builders are also likely to build their new home significantly cheaper than buying a comparable home from a developer.
It also knows that financing a home to build to an individual specification is different to buying an established or new-build property, but there is plenty of help and guidance out there if you know where to look.
“Every self-build client and project is different and lenders are also becoming more flexible with who they will lend to – including how they look at the self-employed and contractors and how they view different construction types,” says Martin.
“Many self builders want to benefit from the shorter build times and better environmental credentials of modern methods of construction and there are many mortgage products available for this type of project.
“Self build is a growing area of the housing market and as it scales up we expect more lenders to enter the market and more options to open up for aspiring home builders – whether they want to borrow £300,000 or £1 million or more.”
According to specialist lender Together, a third of Brits would sacrifice part of their garden if it meant they could self build on the land. Based on a new survey, the data indicates that over 34% would take on a major self-build, with a mix of motivations. Of those surveyed, 14% said this would create a home for a family member, 10% would build a house they would sell and 8% would move in themselves.
According to the survey, 26% of respondees were interested in creating a standalone ‘granny annexe’ for visiting friends or family, if they had the space. Many attributed this desire due to the way in which the pandemic forced us to reconsider how we interact with our extended families.
One in ten also said that the boom in popularity for staycations offered an opportunity to rent such a garden build out as a short-term holiday let, while 8% said they were interested in long-term lets.
But it’s not just big builds that people wanted in their garden, with a fifth (20%) of respondents saying they’d be keen to build a summerhouse or workshop to create their perfect space.
Scott Clay, distribution development manager at Together, said: “Our survey highlights homeowners’ ambitions as we begin to return to a different kind of normality.
“People are thinking more creatively about how they could use their outside space, whether that is providing a standalone home office, a home for themselves to live or sell, or a specially-designed home for elderly or disabled relatives.
“It’s important that homeowners have enough space and get any required building consent, including planning permission, before they take on a self-build. They will also need a lot of planning, determination, and the right finance in place before they start their project.
“However, as well as Help to Build, there are other options of funding your own build, depending on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. This could be through an advance from an existing lender, a self-build mortgage, or a remortgage, bridging loan or other types of property finance from a specialist lender.”
Duncan Hayes, a spokesperson for the National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA) said: “When considering options for garden plots it is important to understand the approach of the local planning authority. The right proposals in the right areas can help with the delivery of better and more sustainable homes that we urgently need.
“Care is needed as many will have specific policies to prevent inappropriate development of gardens that may cause harm to the local area. NaCSBA recommends that anyone wanting to build should sign their local self-build register and check out the planning policies on their local council’s website in regard to creating new dwellings in a garden.”
Andrew Baggot, managing partner and chartered accountant at Clarke Nicklin, adds: “As far as tax is concerned there are a few matters to bear in mind with a self-build project. As well as the tax benefits, there shouldn’t be any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pay on the self-build, on the basis that it is being built in the owner’s own garden.
“However, one tax that might need to be considered in more detail is Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”). Your primary home is exempt from CGT. Although, as soon as you’ve acquired a self-build home you then have two properties, only one of which can be exempt from CGT. It’s therefore important to plan ahead if you’re then thinking of selling one of the properties so that you minimise any tax that might become payable”.
Government has announced a series of measures to boost the output of the custom and self build sector, including a Help to Build equity loan scheme.
The Self and Custom Build Action Plan includes:
Together, the Action Plan represents the biggest push to allow more people to create a home of their own that suits their needs, budget and tastes. NaCSBA believes that the plan will help custom and self build scale up so that it is seen as more of a mainstream choice for people’s housing needs.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappel, CEO of NaCSBA said, “The action plan that has been announced today represents the single most important announcement for the custom and self build sector since the establishment of NaCSBA over 10 years ago.
“England has for too long been out of line with the rest of the world with regards the lack of consumer choice in our new homes market. The consequences of this have become all too clear as has the need for change. This action plan should help ensure an environment exists in England that delivers more and better homes.
“Our focus now is ensuring that, as in every other country, the wider public see this as a natural approach to ensuring their new home meets their aspirations and needs. We also need to do more to build the business capacity and structures that underpin the choice that exists elsewhere. Finally we need councils to do their bit to ensure the plots that are needed are permissioned so that these homes can be built.”
For more detail about the individual elements of the Custom and Self Build Action Plan visit NaCSBA’s member’s website.
Image credit: A Potton home being erected
The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) welcomes today’s launch of the £150 million Help to Build equity loan fund. Research in October found that 1 in 3 British adults were interested in a self build, and this new fund will help make this dream possible.
Announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, Help to Build will transform the sector, and reflects Government’s confidence that more custom and self build homes can be delivered.
Help to Build will help those with smaller deposits access a self or custom build home, and will provide access to additional funding and a lower mortgage rate than would otherwise be the case. A dedicated scheme was necessary because almost all custom and self builders were unable to access the existing Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme.
In addition to the benefits of having a home built to your own designs and specifications, the scheme is based on the cost to the customer of building their home, and not the price for which a completed home is being sold.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO said: “There has been a long-recognised need for greater diversity in our new homes market, and the Help to Build scheme is an important step towards greater customer choice for those with ambition, sound plans and smaller deposits. Help to Build is about increasing choice for the homebuyer.
“Contrary to common perception, in most cases custom and self build is not about people undertaking the build themselves. Rather, it is about the homeowner having control over the design and specification of their project – enabling them to create the home they want, rather than the one someone else believes they would like. It means that new homes will now be part of the solution for the large numbers of people whose cultural, ecological, physical or emotional needs are not currently met by the new-build market.
“In addition, there are many areas where speculative builders are choosing not to build at the speed and scale that is needed, that will benefit from the new housing that Help to Build will facilitate. Custom and self build is common everywhere else in the world. Were we in this situation we would be delivering over 100,000 homes each year via the route.
“This scheme is all about delivering more and better homes, that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. This is part of a wider set of changes from the Government to improve diversity and access in our new homes market including the Right to Build. This is an important day for the sector and an important part of building better and beautiful.”
For anyone thinking of self building, NaCSBA has this advice:
Sign up to your local self build register in the area where you would like to build – find yours at www.righttobuildportal.org
Image: A self build by English Brothers Limited, built using pre-insulated timber frame panels and includes an insulation ‘wrap’ which makes for a cost-effective way to achieve a u-value of just 0.14 W/m2k.
Government has continued to back people that hope to build their own home, with a raft of measures to boost custom and self build activity. These announcements are important for the sector and local government, and will, in time, result in more opportunities for members of the public who want to self build.
Starting with the announcement of a Help to Build back in December, since then there have been a series of policies and proposals that namecheck the sector. Together these add weight to the argument for scaling up custom and self build.
The Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, who announced the news about the Brownfield Land Release Fund said “We are backing people who want to design and build their own home, and today I have launched a review to ensure councils provide enough land and take proper consideration for these homes when making planning decisions in their area.”
NaCSBA hopes that these measures will be embraced by local government in the spirit in which they are intended.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of NaCSBA commented, saying: “We thoroughly welcome this news for anyone wanting to build their own home. This is investment that will help bring forward more sites for self and custom builders, and we hope this will lead to more sites coming forwards across England.
The Self Build Portal is the consumer website of the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), aimed at supporting would be builders. While 2020 was a well acknowledged shocker for most people, you may be surprised to know that it worked out pretty well for would-be custom and self builders.
Although aimed at professionals working in custom and self build, NaCSBA’s Review of the Year makes for interesting reading for anyone wondering whether they can access an owner-commissioned homes.
Among the highpoints:
NaCSBA set up a group to promote Housing Diversification – designed to work to give more people the chance to access a home that suits the. Members include Federation of Master Builders and the House Builders Association (which represents small- and medium-housebuilders) and community led housing groups, including the UK Cohousing Network and the National Community Land Trust Network.
NaCSBA also lobbies government and responds to various consultations to ensure that self build gets a proper attention, including the Planning for the Future White Paper.
It also conducted research into the nation’s self build aspirations, which it produced along with the Building Societies Association. This found that a third of people are interested in self building in the future. Of this third – the younger age group were the most keen to get started.
The announcement of a new Help to Build Equity Loan scheme should help this 33% of the population that is interested in a self or custom build project, as it offers a valuable route to finance. To date, there’s little information about how this might work – but NaCSBA will share the news as soon as it is finalised.
Behind the scenes, the Right to Build Task Force has also been busy helping local authorities get to grips with the Right to Build, and also produced new Planning Guidance for Custom and Self Build. Although aimed at professionals – it makes for very useful reading if you are preparing a self build for submission for planning.
Image: Self Build Aspirations
A new Help to Build equity loan scheme was announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, another green light for those wanting to custom or self build, says the National and Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA).
The new scheme was announced as part of a package of measures to support more people to build more sustainable and more beautiful homes.
Important for anyone considering a custom or self build, the Comprehensive Spending Review made two important announcements:
As yet, there are no firm details about the format or timescale of the Help to Build scheme. However, NaCSBA will be working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to feed into the design of the scheme. NaCSBA has been lobbying for a Help to Build scheme for several years, so welcomes the announcement.
Currently, it is expected that the Help to Build will be an equity loan scheme along the lines of Help to Buy, but with the loan subsidising the mortgage lender, rather than the house builder, as with Help to Buy. However, for now the details remain uncertain.
The Help to Build will help more people self build who would otherwise struggle to finance a build, great news for the third of people who want to self build, the result of recent research by NaCSBA and the Building Societies Association.
Of these 1 in 3 interested in self building, 59% of respondents said that access to finance remained the most significant barrier preventing them from self building. Help to Build should help remedy this, and make a real difference to the younger age groups where there was the interest in self build was strongest.
NaCSBA also welcomed the news of further funding, especially to support the release of public sector land for serviced plots. Access to suitable land remains a challenge, as acknowledged by 42% of those surveyed in NaCSBA’s recent research.
Public sector land is land held by councils, government and large institutions, and a commitment to bring some of this land to market for plots could provide a valuable route to land.
Access to plots and ability to secure finance have traditionally been significant challenges for anyone wanting to self build, and these announcements reflect government’s ambition to support more people in their ambition of having an owner-commissioned home.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO, said: “The announcements today, together with those on Right to Build Day, make it clear that the Government is fully committed to do more to increase the diversity of choice in our new homes market.
“Greater choice will lead to great innovation and competition that will lead to more and better homes. We hope to see the new Help to Build scheme up and running as soon as possible together with the additional wonderful, affordable sustainable, uplifting new homes that it will help deliver.”
Help to Build will only be available in England, but Wales already has Self Build Wales, which includes a loan for anyone wanting to self build.
Anyone interested in creating their own home through Self Build and Custom build should visit the National Self Build & Renovation Centre, the UK’s only permanent exhibition for everything Self Build. And to help spread the word the NSBRC has created its first ever TV ad, showing on All4 around homes-based programmes such as Grand Designs. What a reflection of a growing market!
National Self Build and Renovation Show takes place on 18-20 October and is the perfect time to visit the centre, whether your a first-timer or returning visitor. The three days of the show are packed with live demonstrations, seminars and a range of experts on hand to share their advice and insight, helping you make those important decisions about your own project.
Whether you are planning your build, or just putting together ideas for your dream project, the centre is a wealth of information, with the opportunity to find out more about a range of build methods and products. Or you can get 1-2-1 advice on a range of subjects from the in-house experts, or financial advice from BuildStore’s in-centre experts.
Tickets are free and parking is plentiful, with the centre located off the M4, near Swindon.
The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) is running a survey of Self Builders who have reclaimed Value Added Tax (VAT) on their project. It is calling for anyone who has built or commissioned their own home in the last five years to fill in the survey, anonymously, as gathering this data helps it establish the size of the sector.
This data, together with other information, such as the number of single dwellings created per year, this gives us an estimate of the number of self builders in the country.
Knowing how many people are self building in the UK is vital for NaCSBA, as it shares these figures with the wider industry, and more importantly, with Government, helping fuel the conversation about creating more Custom and Self Build opportunities for more people across the UK. The more people that are building, the more new opportunities will come on the market.
From 2019 calculating the size of the sector will be easier, as there is now a question on the form that you must submit for planning permission (1APP), that will help gather this data. However, for earlier years we need to compile this data retrospectively – which you can help with.
Please help others who want to self build by filling in the survey, or by sharing it with friends and associates. If you have self built, custom built, commissioned a new home or converted a building into a home, then we want to know how you reclaimed your VAT.
The survey is anonymous – it’s just nine questions, but it makes a huge difference to the work we do as an organisation, helping us to make custom build and self build more of a mainstream choice for more people.