I see that Ed Miliband is the latest politician to suggest that self-build could be the answer to providing a significant boost to the UK’s housing shortage. Good news and all that, but it got me thinking about the concept of ‘new’ housing and how the figure – that Homebuilding & Renovating produce – of around 11,000 homes self-built each year – actually doesn’t reflect that number of new houses at all.

The point is that, thanks to the shortage of available virgin building plots, I suspect that only a minority of those 11,000 self-built homes are actually ‘new’ – the rest are like-for-like replacements, with new eco houses replacing older homes. So let’s say, to be generous, self-build as a sector is actually accounting for a maximum of 6,000 new homes each year. A drop in the ocean really – and a world away from where the Government, and Miliband, want to be.

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