Six out of 10 Brits are improving not moving
The majority of homeowners (60%) are deciding against moving up the housing ladder in favour of making improvements to their existing home, according to comparethemarket.com.
The comparison site surveyed over 2,500 UK homeowners and found that a clear majority of homeowners plan to remain in their current properties and undertake improvements, indicating a possible slowdown in housing demand in the coming months.
The research shows that the main factor in the lack of movement is high house prices, with almost a third (31%) citing recent housing inflation as the cause of their decision not to move.
Many also see Stamp Duty as a major hurdle: one in 10 said the high cost of Stamp Duty was stopping them from moving home and nearly a third (31%) admitted they would be more likely to move house if there was a significant cut in the tax.
With the average cost of Stamp Duty standing at over £3,500 across the UK – not to mention other moving costs such as legal fees, estate agent fees and removals – many homeowners are opting to use that money to add a new kitchen, bedroom or living room to their existing home which could further increase the value of the property when they do decide to sell.
Investing in an extra bedroom adds nearly 9% in value to your property, or on average £18,971, and could add significantly more depending on which area of the country you live and the quality of materials used.
Gemma Sonfield, head of home insurance at comparethemarket.com, said: “If improvement work is done on the home, you must inform your insurer of the changes made as that could provide insurers a reason to reject your claim. Properties that are undergoing building work can constitute more of a risk to insurers and if you are planning to undertake major works it is worth notifying them.
“They need to know if the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is changing, with escape of water being a major cause of damage, or if there are changes to security features like locks on windows and doors. Equally there is a risk to contents when premises are unsecured, there are multiple key holders and if a larger range people have access to your property.”