Popular programmes inspire development

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PROPERTY investors inspired by self build and home design programmes are snapping up land in auction rooms across the UK.

Ambitious plans to increase the number of self build homes in the UK were recently announced by Housing Minister Grant Shapps.

This, coupled with the popularity of property programmes such as Grand Designs and The Restoration Man, has encouraged a nation of aspiring developers.

Experts are advising investors to buy now as the price of land is likely to be driven up as an increasing number of people consider this option.

Chris Baguley, director of specialist auction lender, Auction Finance Limited, said: “Investors can save thousands on the price they would pay for a house, if they build their own property, so it’s not surprising more people are considering this option. Investors buy either to live in the property themselves or to sell on and achieve strong profit margins by cutting out the builder’s margin.

“Some are even choosing to build to let.

“We’re lending more to self builders as land is selling especially well at auction, where deals can be snapped up if you can act fast. With the government drive to encourage more people into the self build sector, we’re likely to see the cost of land increase.

If you want to take on a self build project, and have done your research, now could be a good time to invest, whether you’re an owner-occupier or a buy-to-let landlord.”

At present, self-builds make up one fifth of Britain’s new homes each year. In contrast, 50 per cent of homes in Europe are self-built.

This has prompted government action to encourage more investors. It is predicted the number of self-build homes built each year could double in the next decade if the proposals are implemented.

Last month, The National Self Build Association, working with the government, published an action plan to promote the growth of self build in the UK.

The report lists proposals to make more land available for self builders, less regulation and red tape and better independent advice to encourage more people to build their own homes.