New tech platform set to boost UK self-build

The number of self-build homes in the UK is set to increase with the launch of the first dedicated self-build tech platform, MyPlot.

Self-build accounts for just 7-10% of new housing in the UK; around 12,000 homes per year. In contrast, The Self Build Housing Market Report Analysis 2016-2020 revealed self-build rates in Austria, Belgium, Italy and Sweden are as high as 83 per cent.

Yet the dismal UK figures aren’t due to lack of demand - in the first seven months of the Right-to-Build register opening, 18,000 people registered themselves for the scheme, jumping to 33,000 by December 2017. Yet, despite high interest, house hunters have failed to see self-build as a viable solution, while the property industry has failed to harness its potential in any meaningful way.

As of April 2019, just 8% of homes in the UK were self-build - but MyPlot intends to change that. 

The first business created solely to boost the number of self-build homes in the UK, MyPlot will support the government target of increasing the annual completions to 20,000.

The new tech platform has streamlined the self-build process, removing the complexity. Sourcing a plot, hiring a team of experienced, vetted experts to take your home from concept through to reality - even finding a mortgage advisor - can be done via MyPlot alone, on one single platform. 

MyPlot Director, Paul Smith, is well-respected within the UK housing industry and is a commentator for housing industry media. 

He said: “In Europe, it’s much more straightforward to source a plot of land, and the planning system is less onerous - there’s also more support for those embarking on the process, which we just don’t have here in the UK. With MyPlot, we’ve looked at the issues and offered a solution, filling the gaps and removing the complexity by providing a directory of self-build experts on the one single platform.”

“We’re aware that there’s also a job to do in terms of normalizing self-build”, he explained. “It’s something that usually conjures either images of affluent middle-aged people building swanky new bolt holes, or aspirational Grand Designs-style projects that are almost always over-budget and behind schedule. In reality, self-build is much more attainable - yet that isn’t the perception. 

“The assumption that self-build is something only wealthy people do has to be challenged - we hope that MyPlot helps to encourage people to at least be open to the idea, rather than dismiss it out-of-hand.”

He continued: “The government has been very supportive of self-build, particularly in recent years, introducing policies to oil the wheels and make it more attractive financially, but it’s often the practical considerations that put people off, such as financing the project and living arrangements during the build. Those who do believe self-build could be an option usually don’t make it past the first hurdle of finding a plot, let alone securing planning and a self-build mortgage. MyPlot democratizes self-build, removing the mystery and complexity from the process.”

With the housing crisis continuing to deepen and the number of homes listed for sale dwindling across the country, a new solution has never been more necessary.