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Top Ten Counties Mostly Desired by Self-Builders

Devon well known for rustic charm and unspoilt natural beauty, has taken the number one spot in the counties most desired for self building plots.

In plot searches carried out by self-builders in 2014 Devon was looked for more than any other UK county. The figures which were gathered in research carried out by PlotSearch, a website that as the name suggests helps potential self builders search available building plots. The findings also show that two more counties in the South West - Somerset / Avon and Cornwall- also show up in the Top 10.

This flurry of plot-finding will likely increase as the New Year progresses. In January 2014, PlotSearch witnessed a 54% increase in user numbers compared to the previous December. There was also a 69% increase in site visitors. With building plots starting from £6,950 and construction costs for typical three-bedrooms being as low as £150,000, obtaining an affordable home in a premium location is possible.

PlotSearch has assisted over 100,000 self-builders with finding a plot or building opportunity since it launched in 2000. It presently has over 80,000 subscribers and is the country’s biggest and most accurate database of self-build opportunities.

The Top 10 counties searched in 2014 according to PlotSearch data are:

1. Devon: Currently contains over 130 building opportunities. Building a two-bedroom detached home on a 161 sq.m. plot in Crediton (Exeter) starts at only £39,950.

2. The Highlands: Over 570 building opportunities presently available. For £20,000 a self-builder could buy a 2,000 sq. m. plot in Thurso and construct a detached home overlooking the Pentland Firth and Orkney.

3. Kent: Choices include a plot with outline planning to build a three-bedroom end-terrace in Rochester for approximately £60,000.

4. Aberdeenshire: Contains several building opportunities with low purchase prices starting at £28,000. A one-acre plot in Ballater near Balmoral Castle is available for offers over £150,000.

5. Cambridgeshire: The 144 building opportunities currently available include a £45,000 project requiring the buyer to tear down an former storage building and replace it with a two-bedroom home in Wisbech.


6. Somerset & Avon: £100,000 will buy a 143 sqm plot in Weston-super-Mare with detailed planning for a detached four-bedroom property.

7. Hampshire: Plots in various locations on the nearby Isle of Wight range in price from £3,750 to £240,000.

8. Carmarthenshire: Only £6,950 which will buy a plot to build a detached bungalow in the village of Ammanford.

9. Cornwall: Currently contains 148 building plots, with some starting at a price of around £39,950.

10. Sussex: Across the county there are select building opportunities ranging from £80,000 to £980,000.

With a variety of specialist lenders now available, self-build is more accessible than it used to be. Unlike conventional mortgages where funds are provided in a single sum to buy an existing property, self-build mortgages are set against the value of the property being built, with the money being released in stages.

The release schedule varies with the lender, but initial funds are generally provided to purchase land. Subsequent funds are then released as the project passes through each further completed build stage. Self-build mortgage rates also tend to be higher, but on the upside self builders will not have to pay stamp duty unless the cost of the building land is over £125,000.


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