Self Build Wales

The new Self Build Wales scheme has been officially launched, and looks set to be transformative for any one wishing to build their own home in Wales, as it offers a route to ‘oven ready’ plots and a loan that covers 75% of the cost of a building plot and 100% of the cost to build a home.

Financed by the Welsh Government and managed by the Development Bank of Wales, the scheme supports self-builders as they work to meet everyday living costs, and there are no repayments until the completion of the new home. Effectively, this removes the barriers and uncertainty for anyone interested in an owner commissioned home.

The scheme offers a route into home ownership for anyone wanting to stay locally, but unable to find or afford an appropriate house to meet their needs on the open market. For example, it could provide a solution for older and disabled people who want to stay in their area, enabling them to build a home customised to their needs.

When fully running, the scheme will support people in looking for a plot, obtaining planning and securing finance, with interested people able to choose from a range of pre-agreed, for homes between 2-5 bedrooms. This will support more homes being built and stimulate local economies by providing Welsh builders with a source of work.

Evidence indicates that a typical self-build house in the UK costs only 70-75% of its final value, because developer profit is not factored in to the equation.

The scheme is open to everyone in Wales, including First Time Buyers and also existing homeowners looking to upsize or downsize, creating a huge potential market. There is a single website applicants can use to apply, find a plot, choose a design and source a registered builder.

Work for Welsh builders

The scheme also provides new opportunities for Welsh SME builders to build quality homes, with much of the hard work of sourcing contracts simplified. The combination of plots, funding and pre-agreed designs makes for a far smoother process – with the Welsh Government putting £210million targeted investment from the scheme.

Deputy Minister for Housing, Hannah Blythyn said: “We want to unlock the potential to build houses in Wales. While we are investing significantly in building new social and affordable homes, we also want to help far more people who want to build their own homes – doing so should not be the preserve of the most privileged households.

“We know finding the land, navigating planning consents and being able to afford to self-build while covering the cost of living can be real barriers. Self-Build Wales removes these barriers, and makes it far easier for people to build their own home. It will also be a significant boost to building firms across Wales.

“As we work to increase the amount of housing available, this scheme will help people who wouldn’t normally think of self-build to consider it seriously.”

Cenydd Rowlands, Property Director at the Development Bank of Wales said: “We are excited to be working with the Welsh Government to deliver this innovative scheme which will have real impact for households as well as for wider communities.

“The Development Bank of Wales has been working with the property sector in Wales since 2012, and we have experienced first-hand the skill and passion that exists in the sector.

“Bringing planning, design, construction and funding together will open the doors to self and custom build for people who would not otherwise have considered it as a realistic option.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of the National Custom and Self-Build Association said: “Self-building enables the delivery of more and better homes that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. Homes that are more beautiful, more in keeping with their surroundings and more sustainable than the mainstream market delivers. Homes that can combine high technology with the work of local artisans.

“We welcome this package of measures and the positive changes that they will deliver in Wales.”

Ifan Glyn, Wales Director for the Federation of Master Builders said: “Small building firms from across Wales will be delighted with the launch of the Self-Build Wales scheme. It has been a challenging time for small house builders over recent years with our members citing the drying up of financing streams and challenges in navigating the planning system as their main barriers to growth.

“We are delighted the Welsh Government have listened to our members’ concerns and have worked with us to develop a scheme that eliminates these barriers from the equation. The hard work starts now, but with continued collaboration, I am confident the Self-Build Wales scheme will provide our members with a major opportunity to build new homes within their own communities.”

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