For many homebuyers, the idea of building your own home may seem an unrealistic prospect. Difficulties obtaining mortgage finance and a lack of funds for upfront costs mean that perhaps in the past this has been an option limited to wealthier buyers. With the launch of the government’s new Help to Build scheme, this may start to change.
What is the Help to Build scheme?
Help to Build is a new government equity loan that will be available to people who want to build their own home. £150m of government funding is being provided to fund the scheme, helping show that self build homes are not just for people who have owned or built a home before.
The scheme intends to ensure that self builds and custom builds will become a realistic option for a wider range of buyers, with lower deposit mortgages and an equity loan similar to under the Help to Buy scheme.
Who is eligible for the Help to Build scheme?
You can apply for the Help to Build scheme if you are;
- over 18.
- have a right to live in England.
- will live in the newly-built home as your only home.
- will secure a self build mortgage from a lender registered with Help to Build.
How much can you borrow with the Help to Build scheme?
Help to Build applicants can borrow between 5% and 20% of their costs across England, increasing to up to 40% in London, with total build costs not exceeding £600,000, or £400,000 if the land is already owned.
Why is the Help to Build scheme important?
Recent changes in people’s housing needs as a result of the pandemic may make it more difficult for buyers to find an existing home that suits their requirements. Custom built homes giving the homeowner control of the design and specification of the project could be part of the solution. This could provide an opportunity to include more office space now that home-working is the norm, as well as being invaluable where a family has specific requirements eg. for disabled people or multi-generational households.
The government estimates that self and custom build projects could deliver 30-40,000 new homes a year and will benefit many SME builders, a further indication of the government’s intention to build our way out of current economic difficulties. Further details of the scheme, including how to apply, will be available in the summer.
Find out more
Our Affordable Housing team have over 25 years’ experience in this sector, forming close working relationships with their housing clients. To find out more about the areas they advise on and their bespoke services please visit their hub page or contact a member of the team.