The General Election result confirms that the Conservatives will be leading the direction of the UK housing market over the next five years.  Their agenda for housing includes offering 1.3m tenants the ‘Right to Buy’ housing association homes, and the ‘Right to Build’ — a pledge to give everyone the opportunity to build their own home.

Michael Holmes, property expert, spokesperson for The Homebuilding & Renovating Show and Chair of NaCSBA (National Custom & Self Build Association), comments on the party’s property manifesto commitments:

‘The Right to Build’

“Whatever your politics, the Conservative majority is good news if you are amongst the one million people who say they would like to build their own home over the next five years[1], says Michael Holmes. The party’s manifesto pledged to at least double the number of custom-built and self-built homes by 2020, and take forward a new Right to Build, requiring councils to allocate land to local people to build or commission their own home. Confirmation that this will now go ahead is a great way to close National Self and Custom Build Week,” says Michael Holmes.

‘The Right to Buy’

“The proposed extension of the Right to Buy policy will provide a significant boost for the housebuilding sector, as the full value of receipts from the sale of social housing and the most valuable council properties will have to be invested in building more affordable homes.

“The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) will encourage local authorities, housing associations and others responsible for developing these homes to include affordable self-build and custom-build opportunities in their thinking. As well as meeting the aspirations of would-be homeowners who cannot afford to raise a sufficiently large deposit, they could also create serviced plots on the same sites for sale on the open market, and use the profits from this to subsidise more affordable homes.

“Extending the Right to Buy is controversial, but may help thousands of households fulfil the dream of becoming homeowners and provide a much needed boost for the economy and employment,” says Holmes.

Promise to enact the Self and Custom Build Housing Act 2015

“This is a law that was passed just before the General Election. It will require local planning authorities to assess demand for self- and custom-build in their area by introducing a register, and then ensure they make provision for this in their five year land supply.”

The same IPSOS MORI Poll conducted by NaCSBA in March 2015, found that 26m adults would like to build their own home at some stage in their life. In spite of this latent demand, the number of self-build and custom-build homes completed this year is only expected to be around 10,000.

“Would be self builders currently have their dreams thwarted by a lack of affordable plots and finance,” says Michael Holmes. “The Conservative manifesto aims high and recognises the major role would-be self-builders could play in boosting housebuilding and solving the nation’s housing crisis.”

Conservatives will support locally-led garden cities and towns (such as Ebbsfleet and Bicester) and prioritise brownfield developme

“This strategy will ensure that homes are always matched by the necessary infrastructure to support them,” comments Michael Holmes. “These new developments will include a high proportion of self-build and custom-build plots, generating affordable opportunities.”

[1] IPSOS MORI Poll commissioned by NaCSBA, March 2015

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