Buildstore sees rising self-build demand

Published:  14 May, 2009

LIVINGSTON: BuildStore is reporting significant demand for its self-build services from homeowners looking to secure their position on the property ladder in a faltering housing market. The company has reported that enquires and applications for self build finance in the first quarter of 2009 were up on the same months in 2008, as well as the increase in visitors to its National Self Build and Renovation Centre.

With the collapse of the private sector housebuilding industry and restricted mortgage lending, BuildStore believes that there has never been a better environment for self-build, and predicts that 2009 will see more homeowners turn into ‘home builders’.

BuildStore has reported applications for self-build finance are 25% up in January 2009 at £56m, compared with January 2008. Enquiries from people contacting BuildStore looking to self-build or renovate a property in the first three months of the year are 30% higher than the same period last year.

The company sees evidence that prospective self builders are looking to take advantage of the increase in land availability and falling land prices. BuildStore’s land database PlotSearch has seen an increase in land enquires, with the number of subscriptions to the database up 50% in the last three months.

The company’s National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon has also seen an increase in visitors, as homeowners seek expert advice and information on building their own home. The Centre has developed an exclusive eight-part self build course to support first-time self builders, helping them to learn and understand the principles, skills and key decisions involved in building a home.

Raymond Connor, chief executive of BuildStore commented: “We have always known that a significant aspirant market for self-build exists, but with the current market conditions, self build is becoming a real alternative for homeowners.

“The demand for our exclusive self build mortgages shows that we are beginning to see the effects of the change in land availability and land value, and the self build ‘dreamers’ have realised the environment for self build has never been more favourable. With our exclusive service offering, we can provide people with the support and advice they need, from finding land, arranging finance, and sourcing professionals to employing tradesmen, project management and buying materials.

“The Government’s target for three million new homes by 2020 is under threat with a drop in private housebuilding output, but self build housing could make a significant contribution to that target. If January and February are anything to go by, 2009 should be the busiest and most exciting year yet for the self-build market.” 

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