Self Build News

Plum Pictures are producing a new six part television series for Channel 4

Plum Pictures, the creators of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, are producing a new six part television series for Channel 4 following individuals from across the UK who are building their properties themselves in the hope of living in their dream home mortgage free. Whether they’ve sold their house to pay off the mortgage and are using the profit or are using their deposit savings instead, this series will demonstrate alternative routes to traditional mortgaged home ownership as the participants do all they can to escape the label of ‘Generation Rent’ and own the home of their dreams debt free.

Expertise will be provided by a leading British architect and designer who will be on hand to guide the self-builders through the challenges and rewards of building their own homes.

If you would like to know more about the programme or if you’d like to take part in the show then email your name, contact details and a rough outline of your build plans to;

mortgagefree@plumpictures.co.uk

Mortgage flyermortgage-flyer.pdf (459.88 KB)

Self build lending award for The Furness

THE Furness Building Society has won national recognition as the Best Lender for Self Builders in the 2013 ‘Build It’ Awards. The Cumbria-based mutual was recognised for its flexible and pragmatic approach to self build lending across the country.    The Furness has developed specialist mortgage products for self builders and property renovators designed to provide the funding they need at key stages of their projects. 

Read the full story here: http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/557210-self-build-lending-award-for-the-furness.html?news_section=4148#

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Give young land to build their own homes, says planning minister

Young people who cannot afford to buy a home should be given land by the state so they can construct their own houses, the planning minister has suggested.

Nick Boles said it would be a way of reaching out to a generation of young Britons who want to be “given the opportunity to get on and help themselves”.

Instead of renting or applying for council housing, young people should be able to “put themselves on the list for self-build,” he said.

The Coalition is seeking to increase home ownership among younger people, in part by relaxing planning laws on house building.

The reforms have proved highly controversial with many Conservative supporters, but Mr Boles suggested the Government should “go even further”.

Figures suggest the average first-time buyer is now over 30 years old, as rising prices leave many young people unable to take the first step on to the property ladder.

Mr Boles said: “We should think about saying, 'If you can’t buy a home then you should be able to get a plot and to be able to build yourself a home if you want one – put yourself on the list for self-build’.”

Read the full story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10468658/Give-young-land-to-build-their-own-homes-says-planning-minister.html

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Self Build mortgage launched by Hinckley & Rugby

Hinckley & Rugby Building Society has launched a new mortgage for people building their own home.

The Self Build mortgage is available at up to 80% LTV and interest is charged at the Society’s Standard Variable Rate, currently 5.64%. The overall cost for comparison is 5.9% APR.

The Society requires that the plans must be drawn up by an RIBA-qualified architect and submitted with the mortgage application along with costings and planning and building consents.

The applicant must already own the land the new home will be built on.

The new mortgage is available both to direct customers and also via brokers. It comes with competitive fees - £295 for arrangment and £695 on completion. Property assessment fees are on a sliding scale that starts at £245 for houses valued at up to £200,000.

Read the full story here: http://www.financialreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=13946 

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Self-build opportunities highlighted in Cranleigh homes plan

Plans for development of the 44-acre site include parkland that would encourage recreation as well as self-builds.

The proposed development of a 44-acre site in Cranleigh will be discussed at a public exhibition in November.

Cranleigh Consortium Ltd, the agency representing landowners the Roberts family, is heading the Amlets Park scheme with plans to build a 200-home estate on land south of Amlets Lane.

Jonathon Harbottle, of Cranleigh Consortium Ltd, said plans for the area include parkland that would encourage recreation with natural play areas for different age groups, as well as opportunities for self-build homes.

Read the full story here: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/self-build-opportunities-highlighted-cranleigh-homes-6201483 

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Brits must become a nation of 'self-builders'

Eric Pickles: Brits must take inspiration from Grand Designs and become a nation of 'self-builders'

Britain must become a country where people take inspiration from television programmes like Grand Designs and build their own homes to stop Nimbys protesting about development in rural areas, Eric Pickles has suggested.

The Communities and Local Government Secretary said he will turn the UK into a “nation of self-builders” by offering subsidies and tax breaks to people who create their own home.

The UK must become like countries including Austria, Belgium and Sweden, which “reward” people who choose to build their own property, Mr Pickles said.

He said that helping tens of thousands of people to build their own homes will stop “homogeneous, pasteurised housing” being built across the country.

Read the full story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10377653/Eric-Pickles-Brits-must-take-inspiration-from-Grand-Designs-and-become-a-nation-of-self-builders.html

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Self-build plots secured for Bicester projects

People struggling to get a foot on the property ladder in north Oxfordshire are being urged to have a look a new self-build project.

The Build! scheme championed by Cherwell District Council (CDC) now has plots of land available for 250 new homes, as well as some long-term empty houses.

Next year, the plots in Bicester and Banbury will be developed, and CDC is inviting local people to express an interest. Councillor Debbie Pickford, CDC’s lead member for housing, said: “Years of insufficient investment in building new homes has left many people unable to buy or rent the homes they need to get on in life.

Read the full story here: http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/news/business/business-news/self-build-plots-secured-for-bicester-projects-1-5518846

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Self-build mortgage applications leap 26% ahead of tax breaks

Self-build specialist BuildStore reported a 26% rise in mortgage applications year-on-year after the government announced further moves to promote the sector.

The broker firm’s figures come as the government announced a raft of measures to promote self-build homes. These include council tax discounts for self-builder and helping them find brownfield land.

The government will also open up its £65m affordable housing fund to community self-build projects.

BuildStore Financial Services chief executive Raymond Connor said: “We know there is a lot of pent-up demand for people wanting to build their own homes, so these measures will help to meet that demand.”

He said the market was already improving: “The backlog of unsold plots are now finding buyers, and those who owned already owned land, but held off during the recession are now also coming forward looking to borrow the cash to build.”

The guidance encouraging councils to assess demand for self-build and the tax exemptions for self-builders were particularly welcome, he added.

The number of mortgage lenders willing to consider self-build in England and Wales has increased from roughly 12 in 2011 to 26 today. More than 90% of these lenders are building societies.

Read the full story here: http://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/mortgage-solutions/news/2295256/self-build-mortgage-applications-leap-26-ahead-of-tax-breaks

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Self-build for low earners gets industry thumbs up

Communities minister Don Foster has announced a set of measures to ensure the self-build market is opened up to those on lower incomes.

Self-builders will be exempt from section 106 tariffs to cut down the costs of building, councils will have to establish the demand for self build in their areas and create a waiting list of self-builders for brownfield sites which become available and the grant funding for self-build and community-led affordable housing will be provided.

Foster said: “For many people the concept of building your own home means one thing: a fantasy mansion built by people with deep pockets and endless spare time.

“We are determined to end this misconception so anyone with aspirations to build their own home has the opportunity to do so including people on low incomes.”

Raymond Connor, chief executive of BuildStore Financial Services, a provider of self-build finance, said: “This is another welcome package from the government especially as it is aimed at opening the self-build market up to more households.

Read the full story here: http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/mortgages/247581/5/Industry_in_depth/Self-build_for_low_earners_gets_industry_thumbs_up.htm

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Extra Government support for self-build surge

More people looking to start a building project, including affordable homes for their local community, will receive support, Liberal Democrat Communities Minister Don Foster has said.

Self-build is an important element of the Coalition Government’s housing strategy, and supports action to help building firms and get empty and redundant buildings back into use. The scheme has been supported by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud.
 
The measures announced will complement steps already taken to dismantle barriers that hold back self-build projects: limited land availability, reluctance by lenders to provide finance and red tape.
 
Mr Foster unveiled a series of measures to ensure the self-build market is opened up to those on lower incomes. These include:
  • Providing new grant funding for community self-builders
  • Working with councils to increase land for self-build plots
  • Removing unfair taxes from self-builders
  • Freeing up more redundant public sector land for self-builders
  • Raising awareness about self-build
Mr Foster said the measures would help end the misconception that self-build is the pastime of a privileged elite, rather than a mainstream option. In 2012-13 almost 11,000 new homes were self-built, in an industry worth up to £4 billion for the UK economy.

Virgin Money ‘is missing out’ in quitting self-build

BuildLoan, the intermediary arm of self-build specialist BuildStore Financial Services, believes Virgin Money has “missed out on a vital opportunity” by pulling out of the self-build sector.

Last week the lender pulled out of the sector, citing a lack of demand for its product.

At the time, a spokesman said: “There was a limited demand for the product so we decided to withdraw it. It only ever made a very small fraction of our lending.”

Previously, Virgin would not release funds on the land only but would release stage payments, which would be paid when the property was wind and weather tight, plastered and then completed.

BuildLoan says that because of the staged payment nature of its product “it is not surprising that they have seen very little demand from self-builders”.

BuildLoan associate director Nigel Payne says: “With the right product, Virgin Money could have been a perfect brand for the intermediary self build lending market, and with our broker enquiries and mortgage approvals increasing every month, it has missed out on a vital opportunity to help support a growing market.”

Read the full story here: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/news-and-features/latest-news/virgin-money-is-missing-out-in-quitting-self-build/1072758.article

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Self-build - more than a TV dream

Incredibly, the Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs where people build their own houses has now been going since 1999.

Clearly, people cannot get enough of watching people go through the trials and tribulations of watching someone else put together their ideal home and the show regularly dragging in around four million viewers per episode in the UK.

But unlike other forms of TV property porn, for the vast majority of us it remains an out right fantasy and something which we will never do ourselves.

The number of people actually building their own properties in the UK is low. A report on the self build sector from Lloyds Banking Group in May put the figure at around 12,000 self build homes per year, accounting for just 7.6 per cent of housing supply.

This compares unfavourably to Hungary which has 52 per cent, France on 38 per cent and the Netherlands with 10 per cent.

The UK Government has ambitious targets for the sector and its stated aim is to double the output of self-build housing from 100,000 to 200,000 over the next decade.

It’s also instigated a number of initiatives to jump start the industry, like giving self-build recognition in the planning system for the first time ensuring some publicly owned land is made available for people to build their own home.

Read the full story here: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/blogs/leader/leader-self-build-more-than-a-tv-dream/1073926.article 

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£17 million announced for community self build in English regions

Anyone planning new building projects in their community in England outside of London can now apply for a share of £17 million fund to get their ideas off the ground.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said that the fund will cover plans and ideas from self build homes to community shops and ensure that those wishing to realise their vision will no longer be put off building by the challenges of design and permissions.

Until now, the £17 million pot was earmarked solely to help Community Right to Build projects develop their proposals. But to ensure that local building plans can access the same support, whatever route they take, Prisk has expanded the scheme to include any community project.

This means that communities who want to make a change in their area, such as creating a new playground, renovating an empty home or making plots available for house building will be able to access the money they need to develop plans and make it happen. The fund is available for communities outside London until March 2015.

Self builders will also be able to benefit from the fund by joining forces with local people to design and gain approval for the home they want. This pot is in addition to the £30 million Custom Build Fund to help people get projects off the ground.

‘From barn conversions to bungalows, anyone wanting to build new homes in their area should have the opportunity to do so. That’s why we’re opening the door to a £17 million support fund which will help people navigate the early stages of any project,’ said Prisk.


‘Today’s cash will make it easier for aspiring self builders and communities to get their projects off the ground, opening the door for hundreds of potential building projects across the country,’ he added.

According to Andy Rose, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency the funding to help community groups boost their capacity to apply for planning permission will be very welcome in our local neighbourhoods and communities.

Read the full story here: http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-self-build-regions-201308058080.html

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Self-build residents will share 'common house'

An innovative self-build project in which families will share a ‘common house’ is on the brink of going ahead.

Organisers of the K1 scheme planned for the eastern end of Orchard Park in Cambridge say they are close to having enough participants to push forward and hope to submit a planning application soon.

In total around 40 homes will be built on the city council-owned site, to a design which will be drawn up by future residents with professional support.

In addition, there will be the common house, which will provide space for events such as dinner parties, a shared ‘stock’ of spare bedrooms, and communal facilities, such as a laundry room.

Other ideas for the common house include a gym, a workshop, and an art studio, plus a games room and a playroom.

Adam Broadway, the project manager, said he was “confident” the scheme could work.

The council has said it wants at least 18 families to have signed up before it give the project the green light, and so far 12 are confirmed - with another five looking positive following an open evening.

Mr Broadway said: “This is a really rare chance to be part of the process of designing a new community - you could usually only do that in Cambridge if you had a sack-load of money but this is a community which will do it together.

“People will get the benefits of living in a group that is pretty well-established right from the start, and to share things if they want.”

Future residents have already decided they want their street to be car-free, and their homes to meet the highest environmental standards.

They argue their homes will be comparatively affordable because buyers will not be paying for rarely-used spare rooms and will be sharing some facilities.

Read the full story here: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge/Residents-to-design-their-homes-together-20130802060000.htm 

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First ever self-build shared ownership mortgage launched

First-time-buyers in Felixstowe struggling to raise the money to purchase their own home have been given a lifeline, thanks to an exclusive new self-build, shared ownership project launched by Orwell Housing Association and Ipswich Building Society.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the 'Sweat Equity' development on Philip Avenue in Felixstowe will see ten affordable new homes built by Orwell Housing Association, four of which will only be partially completed, allowing homeowners to finish the building work themselves. These homeowners will be eligible to access funding for the property through an exclusive self-build mortgage from Ipswich Building Society.

The scheme enables homeowners to take out a smaller mortgage on their new home and build up equity in the property based on the amount of work they are prepared to put into finishing it themselves, ranging from 5% to 20% equity in the share of the property being purchased.

Ian Brighton, Ipswich Building Society said: "This is an exciting new initiative for local people who have the skills and expertise to add equity into their own property, reducing the need for larger deposits. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to own their own home and we are pleased to be working closely with Orwell Housing on this exciting new project."

Read the full story here: http://www.ibs.co.uk/media-centre/press-release/192-first-ever-self-build-shared-ownership-mortgage-launched 

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Grand Designs presenter seeks £1.5m for antidote to 'homogeneous' housing

Kevin McCloud's company HAB will use the money to design 1,000 eco-friendly, 'self-build' homes a year until 2018.

Designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud is looking to raise £1.5m from the public to help build customised homes that his company says will be the antidote to "bland homogeneous" suburbia. McCloud's company Happiness Architecture Beauty (HAB), will use the money to design 1,000 eco-friendly, "self-build" homes a year until 2018. It forecasts profits of £10m.

Fewer than one in 10 UK homes are designed to their owner's specifications, a lower level than anywhere else in western Europe and the US, but the presenter of Channel 4's Grand Designs insisted that a self-build "revolution" was under way. Homes designed by HAB would be green, affordable – "in the context of UK house prices" – with social values. "Our responsibility as developer on the site of self-build will always be to put in the vegetable gardens, the car club, the shared social spaces, sustainable drainage and the edible hedgerows, orchards and suchlike."

Investors who join the crowd-funding scheme can expect dividends of at least 5% by the end of 2016 and would be entitled to a 5% discount off the price of a HAB home, according to its business plan.

Read the full story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jun/30/grand-designs-presenter-antidote-homogenous-housing

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Hopes for 40 new homes in ethical project

Two self-build housing co-operatives have joined forces to drive forward schemes which could see around 40 sustainable and affordable homes built in the Calder Valley.

Hebden Bridge and Todmorden Community Self-Build Housing (HATS) is a community interest company representing two mutual home ownership co-operatives.

Todmorden-based Sustainable Low Impact Community Eco-homes (SLICE) and Hebden Bridge Community Self-Build Housing aim to build 20 such homes in each town, built to the Government’s code for sustainable homes under the zero carbon initiative, using local businesses to source materials along the way. They are already looking for possible sites.

Those taking part in the project will help self-build all the homes, community building and allottment space, each giving 15 hours a week of their time.

Chris Goddard, of the Hebden scheme, said there were routes to funding through schemes like the Homes and Communities Agency affordable homes programme. Prime Minister David Cameron has said the Big Society Capital and Big Lottery Fund have agreed to make available a quarter of a billion pounds over seven years to allow community organisations to undertake feasability work, acquire and develop land and run them as a viable business.

Read the full story here: http://www.hebdenbridgetimes.co.uk/news/local/hopes-for-40-new-homes-in-ethical-project-1-5800420

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UK Government Drives Forward Self-Builds

The British government has announced its intentions to kick start a growth in self-builds as a means of responding to the current housing shortage in the UK.

The announcement was made by Housing Minister Mark Prisk alongside Kevin McCloud, the presenter of Grand Designs. The UK self-build market is smaller than expected for Europe, and as a result the government is launching a new scheme to help new home buyers seek out suitable plots across the UK.

Reports show that the self-build market in the UK in 2012 was at 12,000, or 7.6 per cent of the new UK housing supply. Hungary is at 52 per cent, the Netherlands are at 10 per cent andFrance sits at 38 per cent.

As part of the announcement, the British government has stated it intends on doubling the output of self-build housing to up to 200,000 within the next 10 years.

According to the Lloyds Banking Group report Build-it-Yourself, the UK self-build market needs to undergo significant structural and cultural changes if it is to become a viable housing option in the future.

The report, undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, highlights that over the last few years,innovations in land procurement avenues focused on multi-plot, individual and group self-builds have emerged. However, the issue lies in whether or not the current rate of self-builds is sufficient enough to adhere to demand.

Red tape appears to be one of the biggest hindrances to boosting self-build regulations and the self-build market. Local authorities are central to the process and can actively impact the volume of self-builds, but many local governments operate individually and do not prioritise self-builds.

Self-builders are typically older than other homeowners and are generally affluent, allowing them to rely on equity, savings and mortgage loans. Younger generations struggling to get into the housing market, aren’t able to do this. One way to deal with this is to lessen how difficult it can be for younger households to access financing.

It can also take up two years to access land for a self-build and the build itself can take as long as two more years.

Read the full story here: http://designbuildsource.com.au/uk-government-drives-forward-self-builds

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North East housebuilder launches self build scheme

A leading housebuilder is backing a national drive to encourage more people to build their own homes and double the UK’s self-build sector.

Charles Church North East is about to release 39 serviced self-build plots at Newcastle Great Park for anyone looking to build their own perfect home.

This country has the lowest level of self-build homes throughout Europe, with more than 80 per cent of homes being self-built in Austria and 50 per cent in Scandinavia, Germany and Belgium.

Just last month Planning Minister Nick Boles challenged councils to find land for people who aspire to self-build, saying he was determined to help families create their dream homes.

Newcastle City Council is one local authority that is leading the way and Charles Church North East is getting behind the initiative.

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council said: “The introduction of self-build plots at Newcastle Great Park is an exciting development in the local housing market.

“The self-build plots will provide individuals with the opportunity to explore creative methods of housing design and build, allowing people to build unique homes that reflect current lifestyles and personality.

“We have worked closely with Charles Church on this initiative and we hope this will provide some families with the opportunity to create their dream home while also extending the housing offer currently available across Newcastle city.”

Newcastle Great Park is three miles north west of the city centre and the development is fast becoming one of the most sought-after residential locations in the area.

John Eynon, managing director for Charles Church North East, said: “We take great pride in being responsive to the market and have always expanded our range and choice to meet the needs and demands of a growing population.

“Our new self-build plots are an extension of that and we hope people will seize the opportunity to create something unique in a beautiful setting.

Read the full story here: http://www.easier.com/115597-north-east-housebuilder-launches-self-build-scheme.html

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Developer to launch self-build plots in Newcastle

Despite encouraging a strong sense of commitment within a community, self-build housing is not common in this country, with the UK possessing the lowest level of self-build homes throughout Europe. But one leading housebuilder envisages self-builders becoming an important part of a new pioneer community in the North East.

North East housebuilder Charles Church is set to release 39 self-build plots in Newcastle as part of a national drive to encourage people to build their own homes.

Charles Church North East is releasing the serviced plots at the Great Park for anyone seeking to develop their own property.

Last month, Planning Minister Nick Boles challenged councils to find land for people who aspire to self-build.

Newcastle City Council is one local authority that is leading the way and Charles Church North East is getting behind the initiative.

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council said: "The introduction of self-build plots at Newcastle Great Park is an exciting development in the local housing market.

"The self-build plots will provide individuals with the opportunity to explore creative methods of housing design and build, allowing people to build unique homes that reflect current lifestyles and personality.

"We have worked closely with Charles Church on this initiative and we hope this will provide some families with the opportunity to create their dream home while also extending the housing offer currently available across Newcastle city."

Read the full story here: http://www.whathouse.uk.com/News/Developer-to-launch-self-build-plots-in-Newcastle-081#.UccbIvnVBqU

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