Market Analysis By Homebuilding & Renovation

Self-build home completions on the rise

UK self-build market shows signs of good health following third successive quarter of growth.

Self-build home completions rose by 3.75 per cent in the first three months of 2012, the third consecutive quarter-on-quarter increase.

Although the market remains down year-on-year by 12 per cent, from 13,500 to 11,850, the recent figures suggest the market is recovering. Completions in FQ4-2011 are 3.4 per cent higher than the same quarter a year ago.

Total UK housing completions have fallen by 34 per cent since the peak, from 219,070 in FY-2006 to an estimated 144,200 in FY-2011 (DCLG figures for public, private and local authority combined). The self-build sector has proved more resilient.

Self-builders were responsible for 8.25 per cent of all new homes completed in the UK for the FY-2011 and 31 per cent of all new detached homes, calculated using figures published by the DCLG and the most recent figures released by HM Revenue & Customs.

The total number of VAT refunds reported by HMRC under notice ‘VAT431NB – VAT refunds for DIY house builders for the quarter to March 31st 2012 was 2,046.

Adjusted for the number of self-build projects where VAT is recovered by other means2, the total number of self-build home completions for FQ4-2011 was 3,185.


The decline in self-build completions appears to have posted a low point in April-June 2011 and now appears to be recovering steadily.

The average duration of a self-build project is 18-24 months, so the fall in project starts may have bottomed out in early 2009 when the wider housing market also began to see signs of recovery.