Wales injects £210m to support self-builders

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self-build wales,
© Mark Brazier

Building your own home in Wales will become easier thanks to a new £210m scheme announced by the Welsh Government

The scheme titled, Self-Build Wales, will see the Development Bank of Wales guarantee loans on pre-agreed plots.

The loans will be repayment free until the new home is mortgaged allowing people to build their new home and cover living costs.

Successful applicants can choose to use an approved builder or in certain circumstances do the work themselves.

Local authorities and housing associations will make plots available with planning and site requirements complete. Every plot will have a ‘Plot Passport’ including approved designs, an estimated build cost and options for personalising the home

Approved applicants can reserve a plot by providing a 25% deposit on the plot cost. The Welsh Government through the Development Bank of Wales will provide the rest of the funding.

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said: “We want to make self-build available to many more people in Wales, not just the most privileged households. Finding the land, navigating planning consents and being able to afford to self-build while covering the cost of living can be real barriers.

“We have launched this scheme in partnership with local authorities to overcome all of these barriers. This offers a route into home ownership for people who want to stay in their local area but haven’t previously been able to afford to buy there. It also offers older and disabled people the opportunity to build custom adaptive housing that meets their needs in the communities where they want to live.

“Figures suggest an average self-build house in the UK costs only 70-75% of its final value because no developer profits are involved. This puts that benefit into the pocket of the homeowner. At around 10% of new homes, the UK has a much lower rate of self-building than other countries around the world.

“As we work to increase the amount of housing available, this scheme will help people who wouldn’t normally think of self-build to consider it seriously.

“The scheme will launch in late spring this year, and in the coming months there will be more information available on the Your Home in Wales website.”

Commenting on the introduction of Self-Build Wales, Ifan Glyn, Director of FMB Cymru, said: “Significant growth in the custom and self-build market could help alleviate the housing crisis and will expand opportunities for small building firms across Wales.

“When you consider the housing crisis that exists, the custom and self-build market has been an under-utilised sector in the ongoing battle to meet the demand for homes. Research has shown that over half of adults in the UK would one day like to build their own home. Across the EU, approximately one-third of all homes are custom or self-build whereas in Wales, it’s just five per cent. People want to custom or self-build their home but the right conditions haven’t been in place to allow them to do so.

“Self-Build Wales could play an important role in creating new sources of supply, by encouraging new entrants into the housebuilding sector and generally boosting the health and diversity of our industry.”

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