DIY boom

What could be more satisfying than making a home from scratch – you have the last say on costs and creative control over the whole project.

Falling house and land prices are creating a growing interest in doing exactly that, and plans announced this month by the Government that give communities a greater say over where homes are developed will surely accelerate the trend.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps thinks building your own home should be a mainstream thing to do rather than the preserve of the rich.

Around 20,000 people undertake new projects each year. But this number should grow due to average price of plots falling from £199,000 in 2007 to £125,000 today. A perennial problem is the shortage of lenders in the market.

Jaclyn Thorburn, at BuildStore, the self-build specialist, says: 'Pre-credit crunch, there were 30 lenders in the self-build market. That has fallen to 17.'

But Thorburn is confident that will soon change. BuildStore has signed up six new lenders over the past 12 months. 'We're hopeful other lenders will come back to the market in 2011,' she says.

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