Finding Land Biggest Self-Build Challenge

by Andrew Hobbs
4th December 2015

A recent survey reveals the toughest obstacles faced by self-build hopefuls. The study, consisting of 2,500 supporters of the National Custom & Self-Build Association (NaCSBA), questioned participants on a number of self-build hurdles, and compares findings to the previous survey in 2013.

A staggering 56% claimed finding an affordable, suitable site on which to build their home was the biggest challenge they faced – a 15% increase from the last survey.

In a distant second place was understanding the technical information required to build a home (16%). This was closely followed by securing self-build finance and obtaining planning permission for your project (both at 15%).

graph showing self build obstacles

Courtesy of the National Custom & Self-Build Association

The study also sought to establish the build timeframes its sample was striving for. A majority of 82% were hoping to build within the next two years, despite less than a third having found a plot or already being in the process of building.

Most self-build aspirants declared an overall land and construction budget of £100,000 – £200,000, while nearly a third (31%) of supporters hoped to build a flat-pack kit home rather than a brick and block building.

graph showing self build start time

Courtesy of the National Custom & Self-Build Association

Mike Hardwick, NaCSBA CEO, said, “These figures make interesting reading and echo the views of self and custom builders that I meet. The demand for land is still well above the available supply and so many of our supporters are eager to start their projects in the next couple of years but are held back by this critical shortfall.

“However, I think that recent initiatives will help. New legislation coming into force on 1 April 2016 will oblige local authorities to keep a register of potential self and custom builders in their area and, ultimately, to permission sufficient plots of land to meet that requirement. I believe this will go a long way to addressing this issue and it will be one of the cornerstones of the government’s plan to double the number of self and custom build homes to 20,000 per year by 2020.”

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