Nation of movers and improvers

Ariane Buteux

September 10, 2007

The research showed that one in four homeowners undertaking home improvements in the past 12 months did so specifically to add value to their home, an increase from just 7% last year. The majority of respondents (51%) believe that the fruits of their labours will add up to £5,000 to the value of their property.

Younger people are getting more involved in home improvements with over two-thirds (68%) of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds getting involved. It is likely that these are first-time buyers (FTBs) looking to modernise their property with a view to increase their home’s price and then sell in order to move up the property ladder.

More people are seeking to improve the resale potential of their property through home improvements. One in six cited this as their motivation for home improvements (16%) compared with just 2% last year. This indicates an emerging desire for people to improve, and move.

Homeowners believe that fitting a new kitchen or building an extension will add the most value, something with which Halifax valuers agree, especially where loft conversions are concerned. People also rely heavily on their partner (31%), and friends and family (14%) when improving their home and for advice on how to finance home improvements (31%).

How home improvers are hoping to cash in

Last year the most popular home improvements were redecorating (66%), gardening (41%), new furnishings (30%), laying laminate or wood flooring (25%) and adding a new bathroom (24%).

Over a third of people (36%) who had redecorated their home believed that their home improvement work had added up to £2,500 to the value of their property and almost one in three (29%) thought it would add between £2,500 and £10,000. Almost one in five green-fingered home improvers estimated that their work in the garden would have added over £10,000 to the value of their property.

Over a third of respondents who had added new furnishings believed their home improvements could add between £2,500 and £10,000 to their home. Whilst new furnishings – such as sofas, curtains and light fittings – can increase the appeal of a property and encourage a quick sale, it is unlikely that they will add any significant value.

The research also identified a group of budding developers amongst the younger generation with two out of every three (68%) 18-24 and 25-34 year olds having improved their home over the past 12 months.

Patrick Sawdon of Halifax Valuers, said: “It’s great to see that so many people are investing time and effort in improving their home. A word of caution though, poorly executed home improvements can actually detract from the value of a property.If considering embarking on major work, do consult the professionals and seek any necessary planning permission before getting started.”

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