UK homeowners have spent a whopping £41bn on home improvements over the past five years, which amounts to around £1,875 each, as the cost of moving or investing in a new property means many are choosing to stay put instead.
The UK property market is still performing strongly, but recent years have seen house price growth surpass wage increases, meaning some homeowners have been put off the idea of moving home or upsizing.
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Instead, according to a survey by NAEA Propertymark, 73% of homeowners have made some form of improvement to their property over the last five years, with one in 10 of those stating that they did so because the cost of moving was too high.
Redecorating was the most popular improvement project, with 73% of homes getting a lick of paint, while 54% of households had their gardens landscaped, 39% invested in new flooring and 31% revamped their bathrooms.
Buying a property to do up has always been a popular choice among buy-to-let landlords looking to maximise their returns, with 24% choosing this option, while 25% said that they renovated their property because they thought it would be a good investment and add value.
Reasons to renovate
Adding more space is also a popular option among property owners who do not want to upsize by moving, with 13% making changes in order to create extra room. With the rise of multigenerational living, this is likely to be an increasingly common option over the coming years, and it is also something many landlords could consider as a way of increasing the capacity of their rental properties.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, says: “There are many reasons why homeowners are improving their property – whether it’s because they have realised the value and sale potential it can add, or they cannot afford to move and are looking to make the most of what they’ve already got.
“Your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning, and improvements that create a sense of space, privacy and give a great first impression will increase saleability.”
Ambitions for future renovations were strong among those surveyed, with 39% saying they would like to redecorate their home in the future, while 28% hope to fit a new kitchen. Some homeowners have even more grand aspirations – according to the survey, 6% hope to install a home-gym, while 4% are planning on adding a swimming pool in the future.