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The market for residential land has taken a positive step upwards since the general election. And the demand for self-build plots is growing in strength according to St Neots based Chartered Surveyors and Planning Consultants, Barford + Co. The company has concluded the sale of a number of building plots over the past months, and in particular, the recent sale of two self build sites at God’s Little Acre, Abbotsley is indicative of the improving demand. Competitive bidding arose following the marketing and as a result of this, some very significant prices for plots are now being achieved.

The agents comment that this is a far cry from the position two or three years ago, when following the recession and the downward impact this had on housing prices, demand from self-builders was virtually non-existent. This was also due to difficulties in obtaining self-build mortgages. The banking sector had taken a particularly cautious view on even straight forward lending applications. Specialist loans for self-build became extremely difficult to obtain, so demand from the self-build sector had almost completely dried up.

“The sale of the two plots at God’s Little Acre, Abbotsley has demonstrated that the demand has turned around” commented Phil Halmshaw, Director of Agency and Development at Barford + Co.

With planning permission having first been obtained by Barford + Co for two Potton “Wickhambrook” homes on the site in mid 2014, the marketing of the plots commenced later in the year, and following an extensive and comprehensive marketing effort, a number of interested parties were identified and offers made. Following a period of negotiation with prospective purchasers, terms were agreed at prices well in excess of the vendors’ expectations.

“Our client was particularly pleased with the outcome in this situation – the owner was prepared to bide his time in order to secure sales to self-builder purchasers. The advantage to a vendor of selling to a self-builder is that such a party does not need to make a developers profit from the exercise, and can therefore offer a higher price than for the land than a developer can”, stated Mr Halmshaw.

Both of the approved dwellings at God’s Little Acre have an area of circa 3,200 sq ft. Each plot has a site area of just over half an acre. “These are high quality large barn style houses, selected from the Potton Homes range” confirmed Mr Halmshaw. “The purchase of a ‘kit house’ and the support given by Potton makes the whole process so much easier for a self builder” he continued.

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