Housing market trend to 'improve not move'
Homeowners unable to move because of the static housing market have been warned to be careful before rushing into home improvements as they could be wasting money.
Nearly half of estate agents surveyed by chartered surveyor trade body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said people were considering house improvements rather than moving due to slow sales in the housing market.
The trend is strongest in areas worst hit by the slowdown in the housing market with more than 75% of agents in Northern Ireland and 71% in the West Midlands reporting people were considering an upgrade.
The mortgage drought since the credit crunch has led to an "improve not move" trend, as many homeowners are unable to move up the property ladder.
But even in areas where the market is still strong, such as London, home improvement work is rising, but in these places it is because people considering a move are being priced out of the market, RICS said.
But RICS cautioned that improvement work did not always increase the value of a property as most areas had a ceiling price and bigger did not always mean better.
David Dalby, professional groups director at RICS, said: "Many properties provide some potential for expansion and improvement, but we would advise people to think about how much they are investing and their key motivator before undertaking major projects."
An extra bedroom was considered the best way to increase house value, with a new kitchen or bathroom the next best upgrade, RICS said.
But the work has to be of the right quality, it said, while style and location were also important with the proximity to a road or railway likely to be more relevant.
Elsewhere, a survey published by Sainsbury's Finance found 21% of loans taken by customers were to renovate their homes, up from 14.1% in 2007.
The figures, which are a slight increase on last year, show people were continuing to invest in doing up their homes despite the challenging economic conditions, Sainsbury's Finance added.
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...