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Home improvements surge as an alternative to buying

loft conversion

A growing number of homeowners are turning to home improvement as an alternative to selling up and moving home, Pepper Money analysis shows.

From April 2022 to April 2023 the search volume for home improvements has grown by 59%, Google Search Trend data shows.

The most popular home improvements in 2023 in the UK are loft conversions, patio doors to a garden, and a walk-in wardrobe.

Sarah Green, retail director at Pepper Money, said: “Home improvements can be a smart investment for homeowners in the current housing market.

“With careful planning, budgeting, and the right financing options, homeowners can transform their properties into more valuable, functional, and desirable living spaces.

“By doing so, they not only improve their quality of life but also contribute to a more sustainable and financially responsible approach to property ownership in the UK.”

A chart detailing the 10 most sought-after home improvement projects.

Rank Project Average Search Demand per month Cost Range Added Value
1 Loft conversion 23,200 £20,000 to £49,000 20%
2 Patio doors to garden 20,000 £500 to £2,500 3-5%
3 Walk-in wardrobes 13,000 £8,550 5-10%
4 Solar panels 11,000 £7,860 4%
5 New kitchens 7,300 £15,000 to £20,000 10%
6 Downstairs toilet 7,000 £2,450 5%
7 New bathroom 4,300 £5,000 4-5%
8 Utility room 4,400 £6,075 to £10,125 5%
9 Ensuite bathroom 3,700 £3,000 to £7,000 4-5%
10 New windows 3,100 £1,300 10%
11 Kitchen extension 2,140 £25,000  to £35,000 5-8%
12 Conservatory extension 1,400 £6,250 to £9,750 5%
13 Landscaped garden 1,300 £3,850 to £15,400 20%

Top 3 Projects That Add the Most Value

  • Loft conversions are a great method to increase a home’s value and living space. According to research, a well-done loft conversion can increase a property’s value by up to 20%. This is so that a property’s overall square footage can be increased and made more appealing to potential purchasers or tenants by turning an underused attic space into a fully usable living area.
  • A beautifully designed garden may add a lot of value to a house. According to research, a well-planned garden can boost a property’s value by up to 20%. A landscaped garden can considerably improve the property’s overall aesthetic appeal and make it an inviting and lovely outdoor area for potential buyers or tenants to enjoy.
  • A new kitchen installation is another home improvement project that can significantly increase a property’s value. In fact, it’s been calculated that a new kitchen can boost a home’s value by as much as 10%. This is because a well-designed and practical kitchen can be a huge selling point for potential buyers or renters.

Pros of investing in home improvements:

  • Cost-effective: Home improvements are often more affordable than moving to a new house, allowing homeowners to save on various expenses like stamp duty, legal fees, and estate agent commissions.
  • Customization: Homeowners can tailor their living spaces to suit their preferences and needs, creating an ideal environment without having to search for a new property.
  • Increased property value: Investing in home improvements can increase the value of the property, making it a more attractive option for potential buyers if the homeowner decides to sell in the future.

Cons of home improvements:

  • One of the most significant disadvantages of home improvement is the potential financial burden. Renovation projects can be expensive, and costs can quickly spiral out of control if not managed carefully. It’s essential to create a detailed budget and contingency plan to avoid financial strain.
  • While home improvements are generally intended to increase the value of a property, some projects may not yield the desired return on investment. Over-improving a property, choosing unpopular design trends, or poor-quality workmanship can all lead to a decrease in home value.
  • The extent of the project will determine how much your daily life will be disrupted by house upgrades. This can include having limited access to particular rooms or utilities for a while or even having to depart the property temporarily.