Two million home owners would rather improve their current home than move to a new one, according to a study released by Lloyds Banking Group in May 2014. Rising property prices have made moving prohibitively expensive for many people, so they have decided to stay put and focus on improving the value (and comfort) of their current home instead.
At the time of the study, about 14 million home owners had begun renovations on their current property, or planned to do so within the next year; and at least 40% of those surveyed said that renovations were not financially motivated, but rather intended to make their home more homely.
A third of respondents hope to boost the value of their property and a further 22% cite a change in circumstances – such as additional family members moving in – as their motivation for expanding their home.
A more recent survey conducted by Wooden Blinds Direct found that 49% of home owners in the UK are willing to spend over £5,500 improving their home, and only 6% are carrying out those renovations to get a higher selling price. This reluctance to sell is despite the reduction in stamp duty and the 0.7% increase in house prices.
Is home improvement the better option?
High house prices aren't the only reason many are reluctant to move. Home owners are aware of the numerous hidden expenses that come with moving, such as:
• The costs of hiring an estate agent to help you market and sell your current home (although these can be significantly reduced when you consult a clicks and mortar agency).
• Various legal fees, including conveyance fees and stamp duty tax.
• The costs of hiring a moving company to move your possessions.
These fees add up to make an already expensive procedure even more expensive.
Choosing to renovate instead can significantly boost the value of your home, while bringing about such dramatic improvements that it will feel as if you have moved into a new home anyway.
Space is at a premium, so converting parts of your current property into additional space can add a lot of zeroes to your selling price. According to an article that appeared on the Independent in December 2012, even converting your loft into additional living space could boost the value by about £60,000-£75,000, while spending £30,000 to £ 50,000 on improvements could contribute at least £75,000 to £100,000 to the selling price.
According to Lloyds Bank research, 60% of those conducting renovations on their home cite additional living space as their main priority, while 40% prefer to invest in a new kitchen. Thirty per cent believe they will be best served by new bathrooms while 28% are looking to build new bedrooms, perhaps in the hopes of renting them out to tenants.
All are effective ways of boosting the value of a home through renovation. However, you should always get expert advice if you are unsure whether home improvement will really make a difference to your property’s value.