With our love for shows such as DIY SOS, it’s no surprise that Britain is a nation of renovators.
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Homeowners are going to great lengths to avoid selling if they can, seeing as moving home has long been cited as one of the top five most stressful life events.
New research to coincide with Home Improvement Month shows that nearly six in 10 homeowners are planning to carry out home improvements worth £50.89 billion over the next six months.
The research, from online bathroom and shower experts Showerstoyou.co.uk, found that the number of home planning applications rose by three percent in Great Britain last year.
The North West had the biggest increase, up nine percent year on year, while London had the highest number of applications (99,100).
It was followed by the South East with 94,000, a 2.9 percent rise on last year. Scotland had the least number of applications with 22,000, equating to a 1.1 percent rise.
The most popular home improvement application was for extensions, at 40 percent.
There are many reasons for the trend of renovating rather than moving – a slugging market, uncertainty around property prices and high stamp duty charges all add to our increasing desire to stay put.
It’s thought that worries about Brexit, impending interest rate increases and uncertainty about the UK economy as a whole have also played a part.
Shows such as Love It or List it, hosted by Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, have jumped on the trend to embark on home improvements.
The Channel 4 series follows homeowners who must decide if they should renovate or sell their home, with the majority choosing the former.
Of course, it’s also usually costs less to improve rather than move, with the added bonus that your property increases in value after the renovations are complete.
Increasing the living space with a conservatory or a large open-plan kitchen and living space remain popular renovation choices, as do new bathrooms.
A recent report from mortgage lender the Halifax suggests that the average property value in the UK hit a new high in March, as a result of steady house price growth over the first quarter of 2018.
According to the data, property prices in the first three months of this year were 2.7 per cent higher than in the same period in 2017, with prices increasing 1.5 per cent month on month.
However Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax, said we aren’t seeing a large amount of growth in the property market.
“Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with a year ago,” he explained.
“Mortgage approvals are down compared to 12 months ago, whilst home sales have remained flat in the early months of the year.”
New research suggests that nearly a fifth of UK local authority districts have “earned” more than their owners over the past two years.
Halifax compared rising property values against people’s average take-home earnings in 2016 and 2017 to make the findings.