Concerns for self-build property market remain despite modest increase in planning applications in 2015

Self-build planning applications for new homes continue to lag with just under 18,000 submitted in 2015, 30 per cent below the historic 2010 peak figure.

The latest data from construction industry analysts Barbour ABI shows that self-build planning applications in 2015 were the second lowest for eight years, with only 2014 faring worse. These figures are more surprising considering the apparent turn-around over the last two years within the housing market.


The custom home build industry turns over £4 billion a year and provides a substantial amount to the national economy. In October the Government released a new Housing and Planning Bill that they hoped will spark a national transformation from ‘generation rent into generation buy’ with a target of building 20,000 self-build homes a year by 2020.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said:

“With a Government backed £350 million boost to funding for self-build and a commitment to removing the main barriers that hold back many thousands of custom build projects every year, the news is not encouraging that self-build planning applications are still below the levels that they were in the midst of the recession.”

“However with the recent changes that have come into force, such as councils freeing up more land for self-build and an increase in grants available, this should have a positive effect on the forecasted number of self-build applications in 2016. While the modest increase in 2015 is welcome there is still a long way to go for these types of properties to make any significant impact on the current housing crisis in the UK.”

“The Government’s target is to double the amount of self-built homes by 2020. Only time will tell as to whether the recent removal of red tape will develop into an increase of spades in the ground for self-build properties.”