In June 2022 the UK Government allocated £150 million of funding to launch Help to Build equity loan scheme. So, if you are one of those homeowners who always dreamed of building your own home, this government scheme is to help you do just that!
Sounds too good to be true? Let us take a deeper look.
The purpose of the scheme is to support thousands of families in England getting onto the property ladder and give homeowners the opportunity to build their own home.
According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Help to Build should enable UK citizens to conquer rising mortgage costs to build a home suitable to their needs and in an area of their choice.
Most people do not even consider this option at all because it can require huge amounts up front. It is believed that the best option is either to rent or to make a big saving for a house in an affordable location. It is estimated that a self and custom build deposit is around 25% of land and building costs.
If qualified, Help to Build will offer you just a 5% deposit towards land and building costs. With this scheme available for young people and families to become homeowners in places where they want to live, it should help level up communities and continue building on the success of other government schemes, including Help to Buy and Right to Buy. These schemes, cumulatively, have already helped more than 765,000 people buy their own homes.
With Help to Build the UK’s underdeveloped self- and custom build sector should potentially deliver 30,000-40,000 new homes a year, with new jobs created and the national economy boosted.
Housing Minister is hopeful that “through the Help to Build scheme we will help thousands more people onto the property ladder by giving them the opportunity to build homes that are perfectly tailored to their needs and in the communities they want to live in. This innovative scheme will build on our work to break down the barriers to homeownership, as well as creating new jobs, supporting the construction industry and kickstarting a self and custom build revolution.”
The Government looked at the role which custom and self-build housing can play in addressing the nation’s housing challenges, and potentially deliver more affordable housing and promote a more diverse housing market with more real choice.
Help to Build could be a solution for families to bridge the gap between their deposit and the cost of building material and land, allowing applicants to borrow between 5% and 20% of their costs across England, and up to 40% in London. However, there are some limitation which should be considered – total build costs cannot be over £600,000, or £400,000 if the land is already owned, and applicants must live in the property as a primary home.
With the scheme being at the beginning of its journey, the government has also set out the measures to boost the sector. These include:
- A specialist unit within Homes England to bring forward more self and custom build plots on regeneration projects across the country.
- Bringing forward legislation through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to promote self and custom building, including the review of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
- The Modern Methods of Construction Task Force (MMC) will promote the use of modular factory-built to boost custom homebuilding.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO said:
“Greater customer choice should be available to all those seeking a home of their own – not just those with the deepest pockets. Help to Build is key to opening up custom and self build to more people with sound plans and limited deposits. It will enable them to access a home that better reflects their desires and needs and which enriches their lives, as well as those of their community and is better for the environment.”
Darlington Building Society is the first lender to offer mortgages under the government’s Help to Build scheme. According to Andrew Craddock, Chief Executive, “self-build is not the preserve of the wealthy, and Help to Build makes it more practical and accessible than ever before for people to build their dream home. This scheme also opens up the opportunities to first-time buyers. It is a fantastic example of the market moving with the times, and people’s changing wants and needs.”