Self-build housing will experience high levels of growth as the “antipathy” towards easier-to-erect timber frame houses subsides, according to the latest review of the market.

A second edition of the “UK Self-build Housing Market 2003”, published by Cheltenham-based AMA Research, says a warming to timber frame will help boost self-build, which currently represents 13% of all new houses built in the UK – well behind Europe’s 60%.

However, the growth may be constrained by the lack and high cost of available land, plus the significant rise in labour expenses due to a continuing skills shortage.

The 150-page report also reveals the trend for higher-value and more environmentally-friendly products, encouraged by the Part L legislation, is expected to continue in the private sector, leading to an increase in demand for pre-fabricated timber frame in the short to medium term.

The overall UK self-build market during 2002 was estimated to be worth just over £4bn, an increase of more than 45% in the past six years, stimulated by land prices and labour costs.