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Viability Of Seld-Build In Current Market

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I would like to start some discussion on the viability of self-build in the current depressed market.

The questions which I have at the moment are (as a potential self-builder for the second time, first time pre-boom 2000)

i) Are site prices now at a realistic level (seems like 50-60K is typical 25miles+ outside Belfast, in 2000 I paid 30K so seems realistic)

ii) Have construction costs come down to reflect over supply of labour?

iii) How does self-build cost compare with buying a similiar house

- have prices now come down so far that you can buy cheaper than you can build and it's simply not worth the hassle?

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Good discussion topic - am interested in this area too.

1/ No real idea about Belfast sites as we are looking further afield in County Down. Would be interesting to gauge approximate prices for areas. We have seen a few sites that have been too expensive IMO and are wondering why?

2/ Labour may be (very) slightly cheaper but material costs seem to have risen. I suppose this depends on how much work you will be doing your self if any - labour much cheaper than tradesmen.

3/ We have looked at bungalows of similar size and plot that we would like - almost impossible to compare existing with new build as many existing properties are currently priced at 30 - 40% over RV. I am quite sure they won't sell for the advertised prices so we are holding off until a reasonable comparison can be made.

The self build portal reports state that in NI you can buy a plot and build a generous 3/4 bedroom house for £108000. This is supposed to reflect a complete job. It does not take into account where in NI you want to build or the size of the plot or build.

http://www.selfbuildportal.org.uk/

http://www.csu.nisra.gov.uk/survey.asp84.htm

Interesting - hope lots of info appears here...

Oh and hi welcome to HPC :)

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Hi,

Thanks for the welcome!

I've been a long term lurker but couldn't find any relevant discussion on the current viability of self-build :o)

>>1/ No real idea about Belfast sites as we are looking further afield in County Down. Would be interesting to gauge approximate prices for areas. We have seen a few sites that have been too expensive IMO and are wondering why?

What kind of site prices are you finding in Co.Down and where exactly? For example I would imagine that around Newry sites are considerably cheaper than somewhere within spitting distance of Belfast.

I'm looking at the Armagh/Tyrone area, somewhere up to an hour away from Belfast. Like you say there's a wide range of asking prices, but this is the case for the property market as a whole. I have a feeling that a realistic price in the Armagh/Tyrone region for a decent half acre site would be 50-60K, probably similiar to South Down. Around Belfast it seems to be 100-150K depending on the site.

>>2/ Labour may be (very) slightly cheaper but material costs seem to have risen. I suppose this depends on how much work you will be doing your self if any - labour much cheaper than tradesmen.

Yep, this is my feeling as well. Material costs are up but then if construction activity is low surely there must be a lot of contractors cutting each others throats to get self-build projects?

>>The self build portal reports state that in NI you can buy a plot and build a generous 3/4 bedroom house for £108000. This is supposed to reflect a complete job. It does not take into account where in NI you want to build or the size of the plot or build.

I find this very hard to believe. The house I built near Enniskillen in 2000 ended up costing me 150K totally finished. That was for a 4 bedroom bungalow on a 1 acre site with nicely landscaped grounds and a 30K site cost. There was a main contractor on the build and I did the landscaping work myself. Given a current site cost of 50-60K I find it hard to see how you would have much change out of 200K for a similiar house on a similiar site. At this figure you would end up with a better house than what you could buy for 200K, but not by much taking into account the amount of time and hassle involved (having done it once I know what's involved!)

It would be interesting to hear from someone who has recently done a self-build to get an idea of costings.

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I think pj posted a while back that if you take account of all The repossessed development sites in Tyrone there's something like 10000 sites with PP. Several years demand. I certainly wouldn't pay 50k for a site effectively in the middle of nowhere.

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I dont think the poster is looking a site in the middle of a development or in the middle of nowhere.

Sites are alot cheaper than they once ware thats for sure. However, most are owned by farmers who are not under pressure to sell them. Where I live sites go in the range of £30k to £50k. You get between 1/2 and acre and 1 acre with that.

As for costs labour is cheaper than 2007 but materials have went up. The building control regs have also went up which on a large house could push the costs up by £5k to £10k.

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Isn't Tyrone pretty much the middle of nowhere?

Our plans are to move to Fermanagh and build our "dream home" within 5 years financed by selling our home in Belfast.

I have not been looking but I would be surprised if you couldn't get sites aplenty like those BelfastVI mentions for say £30k

I have been wondering recently at looking into maybe looking and offering on a site in the next 12 months when prices are low and building in the future.

Are any banks lending on self - build ? i know 2 people in the south of ireland who cannot get finance on self build even although they both own the sites outright , have jobs etc

Edited by getdoon_weebobby

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Our plans are to move to Fermanagh and build our "dream home" within 5 years financed by selling our home in Belfast.

I have not been looking but I would be surprised if you couldn't get sites aplenty like those BelfastVI mentions for say £30k

I have been wondering recently at looking into maybe looking and offering on a site in the next 12 months when prices are low and building in the future.

Are any banks lending on self - build ? i know 2 people in the south of ireland who cannot get finance on self build even although they both own the sites outright , have jobs etc

Yes, you can still get finance on own builds. If you own the site outright, most/all of the local banks will work with you. Progressive will too and most of the BS. Some will still lend on the site costs too. Think it might be a bit harder to get a product that pays in advance but that shouldn’t be a problem if you sell up.

You can also try build store. They still operate here.

You'd have no problem picking up a site in Fermanagh at that level. Probably less.

I know plenty of farmers who were very much under pressure to sell.

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I think pj posted a while back that if you take account of all The repossessed development sites in Tyrone there's something like 10000 sites with PP. Several years demand. I certainly wouldn't pay 50k for a site effectively in the middle of nowhere.

Interesting statistic. So what you are saying is that there's a massive supply of sites with limited demand which should keep a lid on prices for the forseeable future?

Where are you thinking of building close to the M2?

BelfastVI - where do you live?

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Hi,

Thanks for the welcome!

I've been a long term lurker but couldn't find any relevant discussion on the current viability of self-build :o)

>>1/ No real idea about Belfast sites as we are looking further afield in County Down. Would be interesting to gauge approximate prices for areas. We have seen a few sites that have been too expensive IMO and are wondering why?

What kind of site prices are you finding in Co.Down and where exactly? For example I would imagine that around Newry sites are considerably cheaper than somewhere within spitting distance of Belfast.

I'm looking at the Armagh/Tyrone area, somewhere up to an hour away from Belfast. Like you say there's a wide range of asking prices, but this is the case for the property market as a whole. I have a feeling that a realistic price in the Armagh/Tyrone region for a decent half acre site would be 50-60K, probably similiar to South Down. Around Belfast it seems to be 100-150K depending on the site.

>>2/ Labour may be (very) slightly cheaper but material costs seem to have risen. I suppose this depends on how much work you will be doing your self if any - labour much cheaper than tradesmen.

Yep, this is my feeling as well. Material costs are up but then if construction activity is low surely there must be a lot of contractors cutting each others throats to get self-build projects?

>>The self build portal reports state that in NI you can buy a plot and build a generous 3/4 bedroom house for £108000. This is supposed to reflect a complete job. It does not take into account where in NI you want to build or the size of the plot or build.

I find this very hard to believe. The house I built near Enniskillen in 2000 ended up costing me 150K totally finished. That was for a 4 bedroom bungalow on a 1 acre site with nicely landscaped grounds and a 30K site cost. There was a main contractor on the build and I did the landscaping work myself. Given a current site cost of 50-60K I find it hard to see how you would have much change out of 200K for a similiar house on a similiar site. At this figure you would end up with a better house than what you could buy for 200K, but not by much taking into account the amount of time and hassle involved (having done it once I know what's involved!)

It would be interesting to hear from someone who has recently done a self-build to get an idea of costings.

We have looked at nothing in Newry or even close to it – I would imagine they are cheaper. Below Hillsborough and above Rathriland would be the main search area. Location is not as important as the view so we are flexible on exactly where. Sites have ranged from £55,000 to over £150,000 (not the norm) obviously the dearest ones come with full PP, rather than outline permission and are in the areas you would expect them to be. At the higher end of those prices building wouldn’t even be considered.

Ideally it won’t come to building – that was supposed to be a fall back plan. Finding land seems to be even harder than finding a house. The option of buying a house on a reasonable plot and then extending may be a viable option.

There is no hurry for us – quite happy to sit back and watch a while longer.

I agree about the portal site, I thought the figures were unlikely.

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We have looked at nothing in Newry or even close to it – I would imagine they are cheaper. Below Hillsborough and above Rathriland would be the main search area. Location is not as important as the view so we are flexible on exactly where. Sites have ranged from £55,000 to over £150,000 (not the norm) obviously the dearest ones come with full PP, rather than outline permission and are in the areas you would expect them to be. At the higher end of those prices building wouldn’t even be considered.

Ideally it won’t come to building – that was supposed to be a fall back plan. Finding land seems to be even harder than finding a house. The option of buying a house on a reasonable plot and then extending may be a viable option.

There is no hurry for us – quite happy to sit back and watch a while longer.

I agree about the portal site, I thought the figures were unlikely.

wouldn't build as a fall back. With effort and hassle involved, you'd need to have a real passion. But you come out with exactly (usually) what you need in the end.

I have a friend building in Newry at the moment. 3500 sq. foot. Managing it himself (in the building trade). Coming out at well under 60 a sq. foot. Though you’ll never know until it’s finished and the spec will be basic, probably similar to most of the new build specs you see about now.

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Interesting statistic. So what you are saying is that there's a massive supply of sites with limited demand which should keep a lid on prices for the forseeable future?

Where are you thinking of building close to the M2?

BelfastVI - where do you live?

I'll be in the Co Antrim area, 10 mins to the M2. 45mins to Belfast city centre.

Family have a site but I'd be expect to pay for it. :(

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wouldn't build as a fall back. With effort and hassle involved, you'd need to have a real passion. But you come out with exactly (usually) what you need in the end.

I have a friend building in Newry at the moment. 3500 sq. foot. Managing it himself (in the building trade). Coming out at well under 60 a sq. foot. Though you’ll never know until it’s finished and the spec will be basic, probably similar to most of the new build specs you see about now.

Oh I know all about the hassle but I would likely have nothing to do with it. Husband is a semi retired builder (bored already). Your friends sounds well enough priced - good stuff.

:)

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Oh I know all about the hassle but I would likely have nothing to do with it. Husband is a semi retired builder (bored already). Your friends sounds well enough priced - good stuff.

:)

Yeah I hope it works out for him (am you). It won't be a palace by any means, but he'll have all the space he needs, a smallish mortgage and a new build that is actually fit for purpose.

You so lucky having a builder as a husband. I can't us a hammer. :lol:

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