Renovations on the rise as homeowners decide against moving

PUBLISHED: 14:42 15 March 2018

There has been a 114 per cent increase in planning applications for loft extensions over the past nine years

There has been a 114 per cent increase in planning applications for loft extensions over the past nine years

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High property prices and steep Stamp Duty charges are just two of the reasons homeowners are increasingly choosing to stay put and renovate instead of moving house.

According to research from Hiscox, there has been a 400 per cent increase in those deciding to improve rather than move over the past five years.

The insurance provider quizzed 1,200 homeowners to reach these conclusions, the majority of whom (25 per cent) blamed prohibitively high property prices for their decision.

15 per cent said the sluggish property market was responsible for them staying put, while 13 per cent gave Stamp Duty costs as the explanation.

Potential interest rate rises and uncertainty caused by Brexit were a factor for 8 per cent of respondents apiece.

The report showed that bathroom and kitchen makeovers were the most popular renovations, while full garden redesigns have seen the most growth.

Loft extensions are also on the up, with a 114 per cent increase in planning applications over the past nine years.

And while renovations may seem more affordable than moving, keeping control of the purse strings remains a challenge: in the past nine years, two in five projects overspent by an average of 20 per cent, while 35 per cent were delayed.

Steve Langan, Hiscox UK CEO, said: “For a growing number of us, staying put and renovating is a more straightforward and economical alternative to moving.

“But there are many pitfalls along the way – budget overspends, project delays, quarrels with the neighbours, insurance issues – that sound a precautionary warning to all those considering renovating their home.”

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