There are many self-builders and developers out there looking for a site. Residential land prices are rising across England and Wales, but not just in London and the South East; the north of England market jumped 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
“The value of garden plots per acre directly correlates with the housing market” says Shaun Peart, Managing Director at LSL Land & New Homes. While there are countless variables that affect land prices, a rough rule of thumb for calculating the true value of your plot is to work backwards by studying house prices in your area, which can be broken down roughly into land costs plus build costs plus a 20-30 percent margin.
Although possible, it’s inadvisable to sell your land without planning permission in place, Peart says, as you won’t make the most of its value. Obtaining planning will depend on your local councils priorities – whether it’s to protect a conservation area or to provide housing wherever possible. It will also be affected by the ground conditions, topography, drainage and utility supply, and you will need to investigate if there are any covenants that affect the removal of old trees or boundaries.
It’s best to engage a land and new homes business early on: it will advise (free of charge, initially) on dealings with the council planners and architects. Homeowners hoping to sell a plot should anticipate that it will take 12-18 months from the point of their initial enquiry, and expect to pay upwards of £10,000 (for a single dwelling) in fees and costs, between consultations, planning applications, architects and estate agencies.