Monday 19 January 2015

A solution to our housing problems: self-build in Devon

Last month, the Independent reported how the popularlity of seaside towns has pushed prices up:

St Ives voted Britain's most 'ideal' place to live


St Ives, the idyllic seaside town in Cornwall, has been voted the ‘most ideal’ place to live, according to research conducted by Rightmove. The town, population of around 11,000, and was this year named the most expensive seaside resort in Britain, has now topped the list of 10 most ideal places to live in the UK. St Ives was closely followed by seaside towns Poole and Brighton... 

St Ives voted Britain's most 'ideal' place to live - Home News - UK - The Independent

The Mail earlier in the summer was saying pretty much the same:

That's why they like to live beside the seaside: Price of coastal homes has risen £500 a month for the last decade

Average price of home by sea has been rising by nearly £500 per month
On average, buying house in seaside resort now costs almost £200,000
Meanwhile, in places like Salcombe, Devon, average is around £600,000


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If you dream of living beside the seaside, you’d better move fast because house prices are soaring. The average price of a home in a seaside town has been rising by nearly £500 a month for the last decade. Some of the most popular resorts have seen house prices double in that time. On average, a home by the sea now costs nearly £200,000, according to Halifax. In places such as exclusive Sandbanks in Dorset and Salcombe in Devon, the average is around £600,000.

Price of homes by the seaside has risen £500 a month for the last decade | Daily Mail Online

The story was pretty much the same last summer - with the reminder that high house prices do not mean high salaries:
Sun, sand and inequality: why the British seaside towns are losing out | Society | The Observer
Seaside town house prices soar - FTAdviser.com
Property prices in UK seaside towns almost double in a decade, new research shows | Europe | News

One solution might be to put up taxes:
Futures Forum: East Devon: taxing second homes
Futures Forum: Devon: taxing second homes

The Western Morning News has just reported on how more and more people are indeed wanting to come and live in the Southwest - but are looking for building plots:

Westcountry is best as dream location for building life

By Western Morning News | Posted: December 30, 2014 By Charlotte Wace

With its rural spaces, seaside towns and stunning scenery, the Westcountry has been identified as the most desirable area to build a home, according to a plot-finding website.

Research conducted by PlotSearch revealed Devon topped the list as the most sought-after county to self-build, with over 18,500 online land searches conducted by self-builders during 2014.

Two more South West counties also featured in the top ten, with Somerset & Avon at number six with 13,896 searches and Cornwall at number nine with 11,568.

For many self-builders, finding the right plot at the right time and price has always been a stumbling block, in some cases taking up to two years to find the perfect piece of land. But with building plots starting from as little as £6,950, the aspiration is becoming more realistic.

In top-ranking county Devon, there are 112 sites with 134 building opportunities for those ready to make the move.

Ambitious self-builders with higher budgets could take on a £700,000 project converting an existing chapel into a dwelling of circa 3,400 square feet, with more affordable options that include a detached two bedroom home in Crediton for £39,000.

In Somerset, £100,000 will secure a 1,539sq ft plot in Weston-super-Mare, with detailed planning for a detached four-bedroom home. Glastonbury is another popular hub, with the option to purchase a plot for a four-bedroom detached home close to the town centre (it was good enough for Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage, who owns a cottage nearby).

For self-builders seeking a more relaxed way of life, Cornwall’s 300 miles of coastline provides pinnacle opportunities.

If anyone fancies rubbing shoulders with Fowey-resident Dawn French, there is an available plot in the area for a detached four-bedroom home in an elevated position, with unrivaled sea and coastal views.

Interest in plot-finding and new subscribers searching for land online is also likely to peak in the New Year. Last year, PlotSearch saw a 54% increase in users in January 2014 from December 2013 whilst also welcoming 69% of new visitors to the site.

Although rates on self-build mortgages tend to be higher than traditional high-street schemes, owners only have to pay stamp duty on the cost of the land if it exceeds £125,000 and not the value of the completed property.

PlotSearch says that most self-builders find their finished property is worth much more than it cost them to build.

Westcountry is best as dream location for building life | Western Morning News

See also:
Futures Forum: Self-build
Futures Forum: Self-build: part two
Futures Forum: A cob cottage for £150...
Futures Forum: Self-build: latest government initiative
Futures Forum: Innovative solutions to the lack of affordable housing....... self-build alternatives...
Futures Forum: small spaces - Amazing Spaces
Futures Forum: Pitsea-Laindon ... or ... affordable and self-build housing on brownfield sites
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: the flat pack home
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: "empowerment and ownership" through design and community development
Futures Forum: Eco-home on Grand Designs: maximum sustainability by meeting Code Six building regs
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: the WikiHouse 4.0: How to build your own sustainable house
Futures Forum: Community Land Trusts and affordable housing: part two: taking control

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