One in 10 new homes in the UK are self-built and the market generates £3bn annually for the UK economy, according to the Building Societies Association.
The findings come as the BSA publishes a toolkit to provide information to encourage lenders not yet in this market to offer self-build mortgage finance.
The trade body says self-build, or custom-build as the government has called the sector, takes a number of forms including individuals building their own homes, kit or packaged homes, developer-built one-off houses and independent community collaboration where a group of self-builders buy a larger plot of land.
The BSA believes the UK lags well behind other countries. In Austria for example around 80% of all new homes are self-built and in France and Germany the equivalent figure is circa 60%.
Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the BSA, says: “Many building societies began life by helping local people fund the building of their homes, so self-build fits well with the mutual lending model. We hope that the lender toolkit will help to promote this more innovative area of lending to more providers.
“The consumer demand is there and the need for additional housing is evident. On top of this the government has committed to maximise access for self-builders to land which is being released as part of its accelerated land-disposals programme and to require local authorities to take positive steps to facilitate this form of building. The barriers to self-build are steadily coming down.”