Over £55 million walked through the doors at the recent National Self Build & Renovation Show (Swindon 7-9 February) proving that despite the current economic climate, self-build and renovation projects are still a real and viable proposition.
Whether it’s to create the home of their dreams, create an investment opportunity or simply a case of getting on the property ladder, visitors to the Show were treated to a three-day extravaganza of over 75 self-build seminars, demonstrations and educational tours whilst also benefitting from a unique insight into real-life self-build stories from those who have lived to tell the tale!
The Show attracted a significantly high proportion of visitors (55%) who were interested in building their own home with 21% looking at renovating a derelict property. Most encouraging was the 22% of visitors who had detailed planning permission approved and were in a position to commence their project – in fact, one of the most popular attractions at the Show was the Design Live Lounge where free consultations with RIBA Architects and Project Managers allowed those who had sketches and plans to get an additional, impartial assessment of their proposed project.
Visitor statistics substantiate the claim that most self-build projects commence in early Spring with 26% of those attending the Show either having started or about to start their projects in the next three months and 23% of visitors earmarking the months April – June to get their build underway. 15% of visitors were considering starting their build within the next 6-12 months, whilst the remaining 18% were still researching land availability and planning options.
In terms of budget, it’s encouraging to report that 30% had a build budget of between £100,00 – £200,00, 26% had a build budget of upto £100K, 16% had a build budget of £200-£300K and 14% had a build budget in excess of £300,000.
Visitors travelled from across the length and breadth country to the Show – from as far afield as the Isle of Man to Scotland, Devon to East Anglia. Unsurprisingly, the most popular county of origination was Wiltshire which accounted for 25% of visitors, with counties in the Thames Valley, Home Counties, South West and the West Midlands being in the Top Ten regions.
With so much advice, inspiration and ideas under one roof, it is not surprising to learn that visitors spent an average time of four hours at the Show. Some of the most popular features included the Self-Build Educational Walking Tours hosted by resident expert Adrian Hateley and the wide range of seminars that addressed issues such as finding land and getting finance, design and specification of a build project, renovation regrets, how to introduce energy efficient measures and how to save time and money when sourcing trades and materials. The new Live Demonstration Arena also proved a hit with visitors with standing-room only at the interactive build-system presentations that were held at regular intervals throughout the three-day Show.
Those aged 55+ still prove to be the most popular age-group to commence a self-build or renovation project, closely followed by the 45-54 age group. 14% of visitors were aged between 35-44, with 25-34’s accounting for 8% of visitors.
David Murphy, NSBRC General Manager commented, “We are really encouraged to see that there is such a positive interest in self-build and renovation. Not only was the Show a resounding success but we also welcomed 70% new visitors to the Centre who are now aware of the range of resources and courses on offer here at the NSBRC. Based on the success of this Show, we anticipate that our next show in June which focuses on home improvement will also be a big hit.”