Custom Housebuilding – Latest news in the industry

Posted On Friday, 08 October 2021 12:15

Some of the latest news in the industry of housing and development is the publication of the Government commissioned review (21st August 2021) into scaling up self-build and custom housebuilding.  As Land Promoters, Rosconn Strategic Land, have a direct interest in the wider activities within the industry, whether this is Government led or otherwise, here they have helped to dissect the publication and give an insight into what this could mean for various stakeholders within the housing and development industry, including Landowners. 

What is the Bacon Review? 

As a ‘self-build’ advocate, Richard Bacon MP was commissioned in early 2021 by Boris Johnson to lead this review on how it would be possible to scale up the delivery of self and custom build homes. Johnson expects with this, an increase in the number of available serviced plots of land across England. 

With its recent publication the report sets out several recommendations, which has been warmly welcomed by Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick.  The expansion of this style of home building would provide homeowners the control over what matters to them most in the building of their new homes, whilst also providing a forecasted 30,000-40,000 new homes per year. 

What the review suggests

The review which has been aptly named – House: How Putting Customers in Charge Can Change Everything, puts forward 6 key recommendations: 

  1. 1. A greater role for Homes England, with the creation of a new Custom and Self-Build Housing Delivery Unit supporting the creation of serviced plots on small and large sites and delivery at scale.
  2. 2. Raise awareness and show by ‘doing’, including with a custom and self-build ‘Show Park’ and a more robust approach to legislation.
  3. 3. Support community, diversity and levelling up - and crucially by reigniting the Community Housing Fund and creating more opportunities for communities to build.
  4. 4. Promote greener homes and increased use of Modern Methods of Manufacturing (MMC) - custom and self-build is a leading innovator in these areas and could be used to signpost the future for government’s MMC and Net Zero Housing ambitions.
  5. 5. Align custom and self-build changes with planning reforms - through maximising opportunities for permissioned land for custom and self-build, across all tenures.
  6. 6. Iron out tax issues to create a level playing field between this type of homes and speculatively built homes.

The Housing Secretary’s response 

A as response to the publication, Housing Secretary, Mr Jenrick had this to say: 

 “I warmly welcome Richard Bacon’s report which matches our ambitions for the custom and self-build sector. We will consider it fully and respond to the recommendations in due course. The launch of the Help to Build equity loan scheme will be a game-changer to the self and custom build market and will allow individuals to borrow with lower deposit mortgages which will go towards the design and build of their new home.”

What this could mean for housebuilding and landowners in the UK

With Bacon’s considerations into the increased interest from the public towards this style of housebuilding, there is potential for this expansion to have a very positive impact on both the industry and customers. 

For Buyers

The scaling of this style of building would allow homeowners much greater choice over the style and design of the homes they live in. This will create the perfect conditions to give the customer a chance to have their opinions matter most. Giving hope to potential self-builders and future property buyers. Particularly those who have negative opinions toward new housing. 

For the Government and Industry 

Aside from the impact this will have upon buyers and the market, the government will also see progress on their goals for achieving both net zero housing and tackling the housing crisis. Scaling the development of custom built and self-built homes, allows for the development of greener homes. Utilising sustainable building materials and MMC (modern methods of manufacturing). Results could see the housing market opening up, creating more competition and greater innovation within the industry. 

For Landowners and Promoters

For landowners and land promoters, a rise in demand for serviced plots of land will provide both groups with the opportunity to come forward with potential sites. This will work for both those who are interested in a plot surrounded by other builds or those looking to build a bespoke home on a single plot of land. 

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