Almost 2 million homeowners are choosing to improve rather than move

The Momentum UK Team 03 June 2014

Almost two million UK homeowners are doing home improvements as an alternative to moving house, according to new research.

Over 14 million people in the UK have undertaken major work on their current property to improve or add value, or plan to do so in the next 12 months, according to research by Lloyds Bank. With the latest house price increases, the research found that nearly two million homeowners couldn’t afford to move so were improving their current home instead. Those aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely to undertake home improvements during the next year, with 27% planning work. A further 30% of 25-34 year olds have already undertaken significant improvements to their current property.

40% of those questioned said that improving the look of their home was a key driver behind carrying out work rather than to add value for sale. However, 33% of respondents said that they were hoping to add value by making improvements instead of out of necessity, for example to accommodate a growing family (22%).

Creating more living space was the main priority for 60% of those planning to improve, with new kitchens (40%), bathrooms (30%), and bedrooms (28%) the next priorities. 18% of homeowners nationally have downsized and bought a property smaller than they would have liked because of the rising house prices. Of those that bought a smaller home, 25% did so with a view to extending or improving the property to add value, and a further 18% with extending to fulfil their growing needs in mind.

Marc Page, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, at Lloyds Bank, said:

“With over 14 million of us opting to carry out large scale improvements, these kind of projects are seen by many as the best way to make a house a home.

“Rising house prices are clearly having an impact, with almost one in five buying smaller properties than they would have liked. However, this is giving more people an opportunity to undertake home improvements, whether they are trying to maximise the value of their property, or even make it more sellable in future.”