Self Build in Numbers

7 February 2018 Potton News


You may or may not be surprised to hear that the average age of a self-builder is 51. So why is this? Is this the age you can affort to build your own home, or perhaps the age that teenage children are flocking the nest, allow this empty-nester generation to design a home more suited to their needs. Many self-builders are able to fund their project by releasing equity builtup in their existing family home, others take out a self-build mortgage to finance their build.

Plot Cost

The average spend on a self-build plot of land is £220,573. The price of land in the UK varies hugely depending on the location (as do labour and build costs). We've seen self-builders purchase land from as little as £80,000 and others have spent in excess of £500,000. Small in-fill plots in the right areas can often be more affordable than rural locations with countryside/Grand Designs style vistas. We always recommend you take advice before purchasing land and ensure the plot comes with planning permission - otherwise it's nothing more than an expensive field. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. To help you avoid the bear traps of plot-hunting, read our 7 plot pitfalls revealed article, or book a place on our famous 'How to find and approaise a plot' course, held at our show centre in Cambridgeshire.


The average annual household income of a UK self-builder is £50,000-59,000. So whilst you don't have to be rich to self-build your own home, many are perhaps able to release equity from their family home to help with cashflow (as the average age of a self-builder in the UK is 51). According to a recent homebuilding survey, 56% of self-builders used savings to fund their project, relying on no lending at all. 29% took a specialist mortgage and 16% chose to remortgage an existing home in order to fund the project. Younger self-builders who take out a mortgage are more concious of budget (perhaps as they have less to spend). Younger builders spent an average of £1058 per m2, whereare the average is £1315 per m2. Potton Self Build Consultant Tom Allen appeared on BBC's 'The House That £100k Built' - demonstrating it really is possible to build on a budet. Pottons self-builders Eric and Jean Sawyer won 'Best Self Build for Under £250k' at the 2017 Build It Awards. 

UK Self-Builds

Approximately 12,800 self-builds were completed in the UK in 2016. However, this doesn't mean this quantity of new homes was added to the housing stock - many self-builders find a plot housing an existing dwelling, which they demolish and replace with a new home. Many Potton self-builders find a plot using this route as a replacement dwelling nearly always gains planning permission and usually for something  >30% larger in footprint size.


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29% is the average uplift self-builder enjoy on their projects

Plot:Build Cost

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The average cost of a plot compared to the total build cost was 78%

Build cost

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Average total build cost £305,943

Floor size


The average floor size of a self-build home is 247 m2. You can download our Ideas Book which includes plenty of floor plans to give you some inspiration for house design and layout.

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