New finance to support more affordable self-build mortgages

The Government has announced a new £150m fund to support a scheme to deliver low deposit mortgages for self-build and custom-build projects in England.

As part of the Help to Build programme, the funding over four years will be designed to improve the affordability and potential availability of mortgages for owner-commissioned homes.

The self-and-custom-build action plan also confirmed £25m of the £75m of the Brownfield Land Release Fund will encourage local authorities to bring forward more serviced plots for self-build homes.

Support for more affordable mortgages

Currently, self-build mortgages are offered by a limited number of lenders, usually require a deposit of at least 25% and interest rates tend to be higher than “standard” mortgages.

The Government expects to publish its Help to Build prospectus for lenders shortly with applications for the scheme expected by late summer 2021.

Many self-builders use a warranty provider such as LABC Warranty to enable the release of staged payments from their mortgage loan to their builder.

In Wales, self-builders can apply for a self-build loan to pay for the initial outlay, but the funding is only available on sites provided through the Self Build Wales scheme.

Review of law to provide building plots

The Government has also announced a review of the Right to Build legislation, which requires every local authority in England to provide enough serviced plots to meet self-build demand within three years.

Introduced in 2016, data from local authorities to 2019 – the first three-year period in which plots had to be provided – show that the number of plots provided has been mixed, making it a real postcode lottery for self-builders.

The review is expected to conclude by summer 2021.

Funding secured for the Right to Build Taskforce

The National Custom and Self Build Association’s Right to Build Task Force helps local authorities, community groups and other organisations deliver self- and custom-build housing projects across the UK.

Since 2020 it has been funded by government to provide expertise and support to local authorities on the implementation of Right to Build. Taskforce funding has been secured into 2022.

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.

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