Housing minister Grant Shapps has announced that he will shortly be launching a £30m fund to provide short-term finance for self-build projects.
Shapps has also appointed Kevin McCloud, presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs and an architecture specialist, to support the national surge of interest in self-build.
With the number of mortgages available to self-builders set to rise by 141% and over 100,000 people looking for self-build plots across the country, Shapps says the self-build industry is “riding the crest of a wave”.
Yet despite this interest, Britain still lags behind the rest of the world, with just one in ten of all homes each year built by self-builders – so the government has pledged to double the size of the industry.
Self-build groups will now be able to bid for a slice of the cash to part fund land acquisition and early development costs with money being repaid on completion of the project.
Shapps is also writing to key players in the mortgage market, highlighting the strong business case for lending to self-builders and helping to turn their housebuilding dreams into reality.
Shapps says: “The self-build industry is riding the crest of a wave, with more people than ever wanting control over the design and build of their home. But despite this self-build surge, we continue to lag behind the rest of the world. I am determined to change this so anyone who wants to embark on a self-build project has the opportunity to do so.
“That’s why I am delighted Kevin McCloud has agreed to represent the industry – championing the cause of existing and aspiring self-builders across the country, and raising the issues and concerns that matter most to them.
“Together we will travel with a UK trade delegation to the Netherlands to learn from the leaders in low-cost self-build, and to boost trade links between British and Dutch businesses.
“Self-build is good news for the economy – so I’m writing to lenders and encouraging them to use their own industry’s toolkit to see how they can lend to those who want to build their own homes and expand into this growing market.”