annexe R the OFT self build recommendations

james armstrong james36army at
Fri Oct 10 20:21:04 BST 2008

here is a summary and very brief comment on the self build section of the OFt Homebuilding survey , Sept 08. James 

SUMMARY OF "Annex R" of  OFT Homebuilding market study concerned with self build .
  Subject    :   Alternative development models (i.e. non speculative homebuilding = self build and something they call  "long term investment"

R1.25  by offering greater choice to homebuyers  s b might help increase the competitive pressure on speculative homebuyers  to focus more on consumer satisfaction.

R1.27   Benefits of  self build  
…high level of satisfaction…….R1.27  s b suits their requirements…… R1.28 shares some of the faults found in spec homes…..R1.29  cost may be less … better value…a key factor 

Number of self build homes
(here follows   an (over) long section on various estimates ending with "about 16,000 p.a.)
R1.36 the number has risen substantially in the last twenty years… s b market worth £3.5bn in 2004. S B Market growth 45% 2000-2006 

Types of s b….Accessibility of s b….Land for s b…Finance for
 s b.. (stage payments)  ..  Stages of s b...   
R 1.57 ( information about co-housing groups.)  R 1.51 info about sb mortgages from Datamonitor Report

Project management recommended …  
Box R2   community self build in Swindon    R 1.56 myriad options available re the degree of individual involvement 

COMMENT                         Self build is the biggest 'single new house provider in the UK.
 "Top ten housebuilders 2002 " (Barker Review, Interim Report , page  62)
                                                      Wimpey                                Completions   13,480
                                                      Persimmon                                           12,352
                                                      Barratt                                              12,250
Largest single supplier in the UK 
( OFT Report  2008 , Annexe R p23 
Self build                       annual  completions 16,000 (est)
"Currently s b  is the largest single supplier  of new homes" 
Comment by JA
The sector was 'overlooked' completely by the government's housebuilding industry 'bible' prepared by the chief economist of the Bank of England, "Barker Review of Housing Supply" 2004,
 (….letter from K Barker to the writer)
Until  Whitehall recognises that people not industry  are the stakeholders such systemic mistakes  with far reaching consequences will continue to arise. 
The  English language distinguishes  between 'houses' which brickies and architects build and 'homes' which only successful families 'make'.
Thinking of self build? Go for it!
  I saved not a third but  a half on a  smallish detached 3 bed s b house in Finchley, built  in 1980 for £55,000 (spot on budget) It was resold in 2007 for £550,000. My opinion -if you  can take advice, budget and work,  then s b is for you. The skill level needed is low. I had no previous experience yet I decided what I needed  and could be fitted in and  what was in keeping with the site, size and surrounding houses: drew the scale plans, detailed the hundreds of building regs requirements, marked out the plan for the founds on site, agreed the materials 'spec'  and used a reliable sub contractor for most of the rest, and built on time and to budget …….. and lived happily ever after.   The OFT people advise using a project manager. Most self builders just rely on a 'good buddy'   Such people of course are not known to exist in Whitehall.            JA


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