Increasing numbers of homeowners are choosing to improve their homes rather than move in the face of a depressed sales market, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
It found that 48% of chartered surveyor estate agents have seen a rise in people investing in their homes.
Shapps: Struggling homeowners must seek help earlyThe trend is most prevalent in regions where the property market has been hardest, with 75% of homeowners in Northern Ireland choosing improvements over moving and 71% in the West Midlands.
However, the high property prices of buoyant areas such as London are also causing people to not move.
Yet, despite the rise in home improvements, RICS warned that the cost of work is not always covered by the potential increase in a property's value.
David Dalby, professional groups director, RICS, said: "Most 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.
"Costly disappointments can be avoided by prior planning and research."
Meanwhile, Sainsbury Loans research has revealed 21% of all personal loans are being taken out for home improvements, up slightly on 20.8% in 2010 and significantly up on 14.1% in 2007.
The average loan taken out for home improvements was £8,318, down slightly from £8,827 in 2010.