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The importance of cultivating self-build relationships – Lownds

by: David Lownds, head of products and marketing at Hanley Economic Building Society
  • 08/01/2024
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The importance of cultivating self-build relationships – Lownds
I recently found myself on the Farmers Weekly website. Just to confirm, I had not just finished binge watching Clarkson’s Farm, it was due to an extremely insightful read on self-build and its possibilities within the farming community.

This centred on the discussion around two of the largest barriers which are holding people back from achieving their self-build dreams, namely sourcing land to build on and successfully navigating the planning system.  

Inevitably, this also centred on the opportunity for farmers to generate a cash sum by getting permission for multiple plots, selling them directly to self-builders, then re-investing back into their business. 


The demand for self-build 

Self-build has long been an aspirational adventure for many people across the UK and it’s always interesting to hear how different people are embarking on this journey and how these types of projects can be facilitated.  

It’s also encouraging to see the attraction of self-build reaching a potential new audience, and this is an appeal which is likely to grow given the ongoing house building shortage which continues to cast a long shadow over the construction industry and the housing and mortgage markets in general.   

This is especially evident given the fact that housebuilding figures saw ‘another sharp fall’ as November saw UK construction output fall for the third month in a row.  

According to the S&P Global/ CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index, construction work registered a 45.5 mark last month to represent the second lowest reading since May 2020, edging down from 45.6 in October.  

Firms blamed high borrowing costs and “subdued demand for new housing projects” for weak construction activity. The Index also pointed out that housebuilding, at 39.2, “remained by far the weakest-performing segment”, followed by civil engineering, at 43.5, while commercial building “showed some resilience,” at 48.1.  

As the wider housebuilding market stalls, the self-build sector continues to slowly but steadily grow in stature as a variety of borrowers are investigating alternative ways to deliver carbon neutral homes, design aspirational homes or even in supporting family members onto the property ladder. 


Efficient mindset 

The increased emphasis on energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions may also play an important consideration when it comes to self-build home maintaining their future value.  

Research from Uswitch recently outlined that 43 per cent of UK house hunters say they would consider paying a premium for prospective homes to be more energy efficient. Some 22 per cent would attach a premium of 20 per cent or higher to a property with an A or B Energy Performance Certificate rating. Based on the average house price in the UK, this would work out at around an additional £58,000. 

Self-build remains a specialist and often complex product type where experience and expertise, from both an advice and lending perspective, is crucial in delivering the types of solutions which can meet a range of ever-changing client needs and aspirations.  

And these are relationships which need to be carefully cultivated.  

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