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  • Nicky Frost

Right to Build Day Study reveals 1 in 3 People would love to do a self-build

Right to Build Day (30 October) is an annual date in which councils in England must demonstrate that they have matched numbers on their Right to Build registers, which evidence how many people want to self-build or custom build their own home.

On Right to Build Day, councils have to evidence they have 'permissioned' enough plots for aspiring self-builders to build their own home.

Local authorities now have to evidence that sufficient permissions for plots have been granted to cover demand between 31 October 2016 and 30 October 2017, which NaCSBA says should equate to 15,000 permissioned plots. The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) will be sending a Freedom of Information request to all English authorities to track their activity and will report its findings in early 2021. 

To commemorate Right to Build Day, NaCSBA and the Building Society Association (BSA) investigated the self build intentions of people in the UK, and the effect of Covid-19 on people’s perception of their home*.

A total of 32% said they were interested in designing and building their own home, while 9% of people said they were likely to build their own home at some point in the future. However, only 5% of all the new homes built each year are built through custom and self build, highlighting the need for greater awareness of the Right to Build registers. 

When asked about the main benefits of self build, 74% said it was the ability to design a home that held the most appeal, while 50% said it was the ability to create a home that can adapt to meet current and future needs.

Notably, it was 18-24-year-olds who were most interested in self build, which NaCSBA says marks a disconnect due to younger people generally having fewer savings and less earning potential.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, financing a self-build was considered to be the most significant limiting factor, with 59% of respondents saying this was their biggest barrier. 

*The study of 2,017 adults between 9-11 October 2020 was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by NaCSBA and the Building Societies Association. 


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