Vast majority of UK owners have improved their home in the last five years

Property owners in the UK have spent almost £8,000 each on home improvements over the last five years, or £48 billion in total, new research from estate agents has found.

The most popular improvements include redecorating, garden landscaping, installing new flooring and refreshing the bathroom, according to the study from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

With growing house prices making it difficult for many to move up the ladder, the vast majority, some 98% of home owners have made improvements to their properties over the last five years.

At the start of National Home Improvement Month, the research reveals that the most popular change is redecorating, cited by 72%, while for 42% it is adding new flooring, for 40% it is landscaping the garden and for 34% a bathroom refresh.

Some 7% of home owners who have made improvements said that they did so because the cost of moving was too high. However, home improvements don’t come cheap, the NAEA warns with a new kitchen costing £5,635 on average, installing a conservatory to open the living space costing £4,957 and building a garage at £4,526.

The majority, some 55%, of those who made home improvements did so to improve the look of their home and 23% thought doing up their property would be a good investment and add value. A further 19% bought a fixer upper on purpose, with the intention of making improvements, whereas 12% wanted to create more space.

However, the rising cost of living means not everyone can undertake the improvements they want to make immediately. Some 37% want to redecorate in the future, and 27% hope to add a new kitchen. Some have bigger aspirations with 4% wanting to build a home gym and 3% install a swimming pool.

‘Home owners are renovating and improving their properties for various reasons. Our needs are constantly changing and by investing money into our homes, we can really make the most of what we’ve got. Alternatively, improvements can add value and saleability to a home that’s going onto the market,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

‘If you’re making improvements to add value to your home, it’s important to not over-personalise the décor so it appeals to future buyers; they need to be able to see themselves living in your home. If you’re looking to sell, a Propertymark Protected agent will be able to guide you through the process and help ensure your property ticks all the right boxes for potential buyers,’ he added.