January delivers self-build spend over £25m

Published:  15 February, 2011

Building a new home seems to be a popular new year’s resolution, according to figures released by the National Self Build & Renovation Centre.

Boosted by the Government’s recent pledge to make it easier for people to build their own homes, homeowners-turned-homebuilders have been visiting the Centre for information and advice on their new projects in far bigger numbers than this time last year, representing a multi-million pound opportunity for sales of construction materials and products.

The National Centre has seen a significant surge in new visitors with new projects, reporting a 65% year-on-year increase in footfall through its doors in January. New projects registered last month represent a total materials budget of over £25m, and over 2000 construction jobs. The Centre is now gearing up for more visitors later this month, with the National Self Build & Renovation Show, starting on 25 February. The three-day annual event, now in its fourth year, will see thousands of wannabe homebuilders flock to the Centre to get the information, advice, and inspiration they need for their new home improvement, renovation and self build projects.

On 5 January, Housing Minister Grant Shapps announced the Government’s intention to support and encourage those who want to build their own home, promising to tear down the barriers that currently stand in the way of self-builders – including a complex and bureaucratic planning system, regulatory burdens – and tackle the issues in relation to the availability of land and finance.

With the housing market still suffering the impact of the credit crunch and the recession, for many homeowners, building their own home is the best alternative to buying on the open market. Tim Doherty, managing director of the centre explains: “We have had a burgeoning self-build sector in this country for the last ten years, with a dedicated supply chain and infrastructure in place to help self builders. The Government’s pledge to support seems to have made a difference, and as the policy detail is announced over the next few months, we expect to have a very busy year at the Centre, starting with our Show next week.

“There has always been a significant aspirant self build market in the UK, and we have been seeing increased demand and interest in the self build sector, particularly over the last year. With customer projects representing such a considerable spend in just one month, the sales potential for construction industry suppliers and manufacturers in the self build market is significant, and will also provide thousands more jobs for construction workers and professionals.”

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