Home Improvements Prioritised Over Moving

A stepladder against a yellow wall with a roller paint tray on a bare concrete floor
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jun 14, 2023
3 minutes read

With the property market ever fluctuating, homebuyers and sellers are looking at home improvements instead. As the average price of moving home in 2023 is just under £10,000, it makes sense that more people are looking to improve instead of move. In 2019, a TSB study found that 2 in 5 homeowners would prefer to do just that. In late 2022, NatWest and S&P Global found that 22% were planning home improvements over the next 12 months.

According to the NatWest survey, the numbers of people performing home improvements have not only increased, but more homeowners have brought their projects forward. As the price of remortgaging has worsened recently, people have been looking for ways to increase the value of their home or make it more liveable. Where the 2019 option was to remortgage and borrow the cost of improvements over the house, higher interest rates have made this a less attractive option in 2023.

In terms of home improvements in high demand last year, energy efficiency was certainly at the heart of a lot of people’s decisions. The survey at the end of 2022 came at a time when energy bills were creeping higher and property owners were looking for ways to decrease their outgoings. Insulation, double glazing and reduced capacity baths were among the top improvements.

Previously, applications for home offices increased by 250% between 2019 and 2021, but this was when the majority of workers were forced to work from home due to the pandemic. The rise in hybrid working has also had an effect on this, as more employees have found the flexibility much more desirable in a job role.

The Finance and Leasing Association found that home improvement loan agreements increased from £11 million in January 2021 to £14 million in February 2023. More people are discovering the benefits of home improvement as a way of saving money and increasing their home’s value. While you can get a significant increase in value, it may also help save on moving costs.

The top home improvement trends for the beginning of 2023 were loft conversions, patio doors and walk-in wardrobes. While it’s important to consider the financial aspect of home improvements, the disruption to daily life should also be thought about. Some improvements will set you back more, and bigger jobs will also be difficult to live around for many months. Providing you have the funds available and disruption isn’t an issue, you’ll be good to go ahead.

It’s also worth being aware of how poor design choices and unpopular trends can have the opposite effect. These can actually decrease the value of your home, causing you to spend even more money correcting these mistakes. In April, Compare the Market saw 47% of homeowners struggling to afford home renovations simply because of the increased cost of building materials. A further 54% delayed home improvements due to affordability amongst the cost of living crisis.

As with any big project, making sure you have contingency funds is paramount. Further home improvements you can consider include adding a conservatory and a resin bound driveway.