The pulse of housing demand

Access to current market demand data has become an essential part of successfully designing and justifying custom and self-build housing projects and policies at all levels. All Councils in England have a legal duty under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended) to keep a self-build and custom housebuilding register of demand for serviced building plots in their area and to consent enough plots to meet this demand annually.

In addition, Government planning policy for England asks local planning authorities to plan for the needs of custom and self-builders as part of their overall housing need and that permissioned land is developed without delay. Although local demand registers are an important consideration in this process, they routinely underestimate market demand for plots and only provide a short-term data.

Well evidenced market information therefore forms a critical part of the evidence base for custom and self-build housing in an area and is vital to inform what types of homes should be offered to the market. This is increasingly recognised in planning appeals when planning applications are considered on appeal and forms an important part of the evidence base supporting the preparation of local plans, including strategic housing market assessments.