The UK remains an outlier amongst developed countries in regards to the low level of new homes built by custom and self builders, where many countries deliver over 50% of new housing this way. Custom and self build supports local economies and small builders – which have seen dramatic declines in their numbers in the last few decades. But crucially, custom and self build homes diversify the housing supply market by offering homes that the volume builders simply don’t build. This means that demand is unable to influence, and therefore drive volume.
But self build offers an alternative that can benefit local authorities and their residents, as well as landowners and builders. Crucially, these homes create additionality that can make valuable contributions to Government housing target figures, as well as speed up build out rate, a problem highlighted by Sir Oliver Letwin’s independent review of build out rates.
The key next step is for stakeholders to facilitate sites for custom and self build, which is where the Right to Build Task Force can help, advising on models and emerging best practice.