One in three new detached houses being built is now a self-build project, while volume house building slumps to its lowest levels, so building material manufacturers and suppliers are being urged to consider the self-build sector as a more effective target market.
Figures from Emap Glenigan reveal there were 19,018 planning applications from self-builders for the first six months of this year. Conversely, NHBC start statistics for August dropped to their lowest level since accessible records began, with only 3,720 applications to start new homes in the private sector received, a 76% drop on the same month a year ago.
Imitiza Farookhi, NHBC Chief Executive, says: “Our calendar year-to-date figures show there has been a 48% reduction in the number of applications to start new homes by the private sector.”
The NHBC recorded just 33,170 completions of detached homes by registered builders to July 2008. With new start applications continuing to fall there is every indication that the total number of speculatively built detached units will fall to below 20,000 by July 09. The estimated number of completed self-builds to July 2008 was 18,870 and mortgage approvals suggest that this figure will rise in the coming year.
In the last housing slowdown, self-build numbers grew by 14% and some experts believe this pattern could repeat itself. The average spend on a self-build home is considerably higher than on a speculatively built home, making financial sense for suppliers and manufacturers to consider targeting the sector.