Brits spend more than £40bn on home improvements

Michael Lloyd

April 3, 2018

Homeowners have spent a total of £41bn doing up their homes over the last five years – an average of £1,875 each, NAEA Propertymark found. 

With growing house prices making it increasingly difficult to move up the ladder, nearly three in four (73%) homeowners have made improvements to their properties over the past five years.

The most popular changes were redecorating (73%), landscaping the garden (54%), adding new flooring (39%) and refreshing the bathroom (31%).

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “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.

“If you’re making improvements to add value to your home, it’s important to not over-personalise the décor so it appeals to future buyers, and will allow them to adapt the property to fit their own needs.

“If you’re looking to sell your home soon and need advice on how to maximise saleability, then a Propertymark Protected agent will be able to guide you through the process, and help you ensure your property ticks all the right boxes for potential buyers.”

One in 10 homeowners who have made improvements, did so because the cost of moving was too high.

Installing a conservatory typically costs homeowners £4,310 and extending into the loft or basement comes with a £3,244 price tag attached.

The majority (61%) of those who have made home improvements did so to improve the look of their home. For a quarter (25%) they thought doing up their property would be a good investment and add value.

Some 24% bought a doer-upper on purpose, with the intention of making improvements, whereas one in eight (13%) needed to create more space.

With the cost of living on the rise, not all homeowners can undertake the improvements they want to immediately. Two fifths (39%) of UK homeowners want to redecorate in the future, and a quarter (28%) wish they could add a new kitchen.

NAEA Propertymark’s top home improvement tips to add value to a property include redecorating, a kitchen makeover, garden landscaping, opening up living space and double glazing the windows. Other tips were to replace doors, convert the loft, be energy efficient and create a driveway.

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