One in 10 Brits improve rather than move

3 April 2018

Almost a quarter (73%) of homeowners have made improvements to their properties over the past five years, spending on average £375 a year, according to a new poll.

Research by NAEA Propertymark found that one in 10 homeowners who have made improvements did so because they couldn’t afford to move home.

The most popular improvements among the 1,157 homeowners polled are redecorating (73%) landscaping the garden (54%), adding new flooring (39%) and refreshing the bathroom (31%).

However, more than a quarter (27%) were prepared to splurge on a new kitchen, which typically cost £5,016, while 11% splashed out on a new conservatory at an average cost of £4,310.

Almost two thirds (61%) of those who made changes to their homes did so to improve its appearance, while 25% thought improvements would add value and would be a good investment. Almost one in four (24%) sets out to buy a ‘doer-upper’ to make improvements, while 13% were carrying out home improvements to create more space.

Brits are set to carry on indulging in their passion for home improving, with 39% of homeowners in the UK wanting to redecorate in the future, and 28% aiming to add a new kitchen. Others are looking to add a touch of luxury to their home, with 6% wanting to build a home gym and another 6% wanting a home cinema at some point in the future.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, says: “There are many reasons why homeowners are improving their property – whether it’s because they have realised the value and sale potential it can add, or they cannot afford to move and are looking to make the most of what they’ve already got.

“Your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning and improvements that create a sense of space, privacy and give a great first impression will increase saleability. If you’re making improvements to add value to your home, it’s important to not over-personalise the decor so it appeals to future buyers and will allow them to adapt the property to fit their own needs.”

Popular home improvements and average spend over five years

The most popular home improvements for homeowners

Percentage of homeowners

Ave. spent per improvement




Garden landscaping



New flooring



New bathroom



New doors (including internal and external)



New kitchen



New windows



Decking/patio alterations



Driveway or parking space



Built a conservatory



Added activity room



Basement/loft extension



Walk-in wardrobe



Built a gym



Wet room



Built a garage



Installed a swimming pool



Jacuzzi/hot tub



Source: NAEA Propertymark, March 2018


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