The number of affordable homes delivered annually in the UK has remained stagnant over the last 10 years, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

ONS data suggests that a downward trend exists with regards to the delivery of affordable homes, despite demand increasing. 

Affordable housing is an escalating problem in the UK, particularly affecting first-time buyers who often struggle to find a suitable deposit. 

But while the ONE statistics are alarming, self build and custom build homes are showing the way forward for homebuilding the UK, providing first-time buyers with a route to save costs on their build and assert more creative control. 

What Did ONS Discover?

The 60,000 affordable homes supplied between April 2017-March 2018 (referring to homes built, bought or rehabilitated) fell below the average of 62,400. 

England was the only country in the UK to report a decrease in affordable housing delivery, with a long-term average of 50,800. Wales (2,400) showed no major change, while Scotland (7,100) and Northern Ireland (2,200) reported long-term increases. 

However, in 2018, Wales delivered the fewest number of affordable homes with an average of 7.4 per 10,000 people. This is set to change – later this year applications will open for the Self Build Wales scheme, set up by the Welsh government to show how self build can increase the availability of affordable housing.

ONS data also suggested that Scotland supplied the most affordable homes per person (16) per 10,000 people, although not all of these were new builds (some were rehabilitated). England performed slightly better with 8.5, while Northern Ireland achieved 12.3. 

What Happens Next?

The findings raise additional alarm bells about the government’s attempts to supply affordable housing, leaving first-time buyers in limbo.

It was also announced this week that despite the government’s pledge in 2014 to build 200,000 starter homes for first-time buyers, not one has been built. And a September report indicated that house prices for first-time buyers could increase by 150% over the next 30 years.

Self build and custom build provide a plenitude of benefits: self builders typically enjoy a profit of 25% on their investment, as reported in the Homebuilding & Renovating Self & Custom Build Market Report 2017, helping many climb several rungs up the property ladder.

The examples in the report also highlight that self build homes can be built from as little as £67k.

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