AMA Research has published its latest market report which showed that the self build sector was more resilient than the wider new housebuilding market during the pandemic.
While new home completions in general were down against 2019 output, self build completions fell by about 8% to around 13,900, which compares well against the general market.
Based on 2019 performances, the self build market was worth £4.7billion at output prices, an increase of 5% on 2018, but which fell by 10% to £4.3billion in 2020.
Construction never fully stopped during the crisis, and self build faired comparatively well because smaller sites remained operational while many larger sites closed due to safety concerns. This is because social distancing is more easily achieved on small sites, with offsite manufacturing also more conducive to safe working.
The analysis also showed that, for 2019-2020, self build completions were estimated to account for around 7-8% of overall housing completions, but accounted for 12% of total housing output.
Savings for self builders
In a welcome finding, the data indicated that self builders were still able to save between 20-40% by building their own home, in comparison to purchasing a comparable house on the open market.
The report also found that it was the 50-60 age group that persistently remain the most active in the market, largely attributed to the fact that financial or asset wealth enables them to self fund projects.
In addition, it demonstrated that roughly half of all projects are project managed by the owner, although NaCSBA believes that this will change over the next five years as more multi-plot opportunities come to the market.