Millions choosing to improve rather than move house

A third of homeowners are making home improvements with the aim of adding value to their property

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The Independent Online

More than 44 per cent of homeowners in England and Wales have undertaken major work on their current property, or plan to do so within the next year, to improve or add value to their home, says a new report.

Those aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to undertake work in the next year, according to new Lloyds Bank research, with over a quarter planning work. A further 30 per cent have already completed significant home improvements on their current property.

Improving the look of the house to make it more homely is the most frequent reason for undertaking improvements, with 40 per cent saying this was the main reason behind new works. But a third also said adding value was a key reason for improvements. Just over a fifth were building because of their growing family.

Creating additional living space is the main priority for nearly two thirds of improvers. New kitchens (40 per cent), bathrooms (30 per cent) and bedrooms (28 per cent) are the next priorities.

Almost one in five add that they have previously bought a smaller property than they would have liked as a result of rising house prices - a quarter of these say that they did so with a view to extending or improving the property to add value.

A third of homeowners say they are spending between £10,000 and £25,000 on the necessary work. Another quarter have spent between £5,000 and £10,000 and 13 per cent between £25,000 and £50,000.

Regionally, those in the South East are more likely to undertake large scale home improvements than in any other area, mainly to create new bedrooms. whilie two thirds of people in the Midlands have made an increase in their living space a priority.

In Wales and the South West, nearly one in five people made improvements in order to sell the property and appear to be the most likely to want a new kitchen and bathroom than in any other region. In the North of England, the focus is simply on improving the look of the home - nearly half of all improvements were to make it a nicer place to live in.