New analysis in the Custom and Self Build Report 2023/24 shows that there is an overall 64% under-measuring of demand by local authority custom and self build registers.
The analysis undertaken by NaCSBA examined postcode data of people interested in custom and self building and compared this data against total numbers who had signed a register. The anonymised data was obtained from three of NaCSBA’s Gold Partners, Build It, Homebuilding & Renovating and the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC), with engagement signified by individuals investing in research over a three-year period. This could be via a subscription or attending a show with the associated costs, reflecting an intention, or interest in, pursuing a project.
The results found that 83,430 were interested in the route, in comparison to the 29,697 people that signed up to a Right to Build register over the three years of 2019-2022. This shows that the demand reflected by these registers is underestimated by at least two thirds, an at least 64% under-measuring of demand.
The Right to Build registers remain a crucial source of demand evidence for local authorities, but NaCSBA’s analysis shows the importance of always using secondary data for evidencing demand, as recommended by the Planning Practice Guidance for self and custom build:
“Local planning authorities should use the demand data from the registers in their area, supported as necessary by additional data from secondary sources (as outlined in the housing and economic development needs guidance), to understand and consider future need for this type of housing in their area. Secondary sources can include data from building plot search websites, enquiries for building plots recorded by local estate agents and surveys of local residents. Demand assessment tools can also be utilised.”
The full set of analysis is available in the Custom and Self Build Report 2023/24.
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