NaCSBA’s VAT Survey 2019 – calculating sector size for Custom and Self Build in the UK

VAT Survey

Calculating the size of the UK’s Custom and Self Build sector

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.

Please fill in our VAT survey.

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.

One minute of your time

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.


Share this link with anyone who has self built recently:


Thank you!


Image: DHayes

Welsh Government announces finance scheme to get people self building


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.

Credit: Pixabay

New Welsh planning policy supports small sites and self build

Planning Policy Wales

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.
Credit: Pixabay