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.
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.
The Welsh Government has announced a new fund for self builders in Wales, adding impetus to its commitment to diversifying housing by making it easier for more people to create their own home through self and custom build.
This builds on the news that its latest planning guide, Edition 10 of Planning Policy Wales, references the contribution that self and custom build has as a route to home ownership.
Called Self Build Wales, the new finance scheme is a fund of £210 million that is available for self builders to borrow to finance the building of their new home.
Welsh Government is very focussed on removing the perception that self build is only for the premium market, and it wants to see it accessible to more people on a range of incomes.
Guaranteed by the Development Bank of Wales, the loans finance the purchase and build of a home on pre-agreed plots, and remain repayment free until the new self-build home is completed and mortgaged. This will enable people to self build without having to sell their existing property to fund the build, and ending up with nowhere to live for the duration of the build. Currently this is a barrier to many people starting their self build dream.
A new website is being designed to market the plots, and, once approved, applicants can reserve a plot with a 25% deposit of the plot cost. Repayments can be deferred for up to two years, or until the home is finished, offering a degree of flexibility to the process.
It is expected that Self Build Wales will bring together plots from local authorities and housing associations, with planning permission and site requirements in place. Each plot will come with a Plot Passport that sets out what can be built on the site. This could include approved design ideas, and guides for the size and positioning of the home, as well as details of agreed material palettes, indicative build costs and options for personalising the home to suit people’s needs.
Wales does not have the Right to Build or the self build registers that go with it, as it’s a devolved government. But the National Custom and Self Build Association welcomes this initiative.
NaCSBA chair Michael Holmes said, “It is fantastic that the Welsh Assembly is working to make self build more of a mainstream housing choice. Access to finance can be a barrier to people pursuing their ambition to build or commission a home that suits their needs, so this is a very welcome initiative.”
Self Build Portal will be bringing you updates of the scheme, including the launch of the new site. You can find out more about the scheme on the Welsh Assembly’s website.
Welsh Government has published the latest version of its planning policy, which sets out its vision for growth, including the importance of self build as a route to home ownership. The new Edition 10 of Planning Policy Wales has been designed to make the policy simpler, both to understand and implement.
It’s good news for anyone wanting to commission or build their own home, as it recognises the contribution that self build, and custom build, can have in creating diversity in housing supply, offering a wider choice to the public in the type of home they want to live in.
This is crucial, as the open market tends to build the same types of new build home, which doesn’t always reflect the needs and preferences of home buyers, for example, multi-generational households or downsizers who want roomy, high-quality homes but without lots of bedrooms.
The result of a year-long consultation, Edition 10 puts a lot of emphasis on the notion of placemaking, the idea of creating new developments that have sustainability and community at their heart.
The new policy requires local authorities to consider the contribution that all sectors can make to housing delivery, including custom and self build, as well as working to bring on more small sites. Small sites are key in offering a supply route for custom build, where several self-build homes can be brought on as part of a scheme, with much of the hassle of obtaining planning permission and getting infrastructure works completed taken care of.
Wales does not have the Right to Build or the self build registers that go with it, as it’s a devolved government, but anyone wanting to self build can now refer to the new policy to hit home the fact that the route has national support.
Find out more about custom build, here.