Homeowners are improving rather than moving.

Research carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has concluded that increasing numbers of homeowners are deciding to carry out improvements to their current property rather than move house.

Overall, 48 per cent of chartered surveyor estate agents revealed the slow sales market is prompting people to improve their properties rather than move. Across the UK, this was most prevalent in areas where the property market is more depressed, such as Northern Ireland, where 75 per cent were improving rather than moving and the West Midlands (71 per cent). However, even in more buoyant areas such as London, buyers are facing high property prices which are also prompting them to stay in their homes.

For those undertaking work to their homes, 44 per cent of surveyors reported additional bedrooms were the improvement which added the most value. Traditional improvements such as adding a new bathroom or kitchen were the next most valuable, at 18 per cent. Adding a conservatory, or reinstating period features were seen as desirable optional extras but not ones which add value.

Surveyors also noted that costs incurred for improvements will not always be covered by the potential increase in a property’s value, as this also depends on the quality of work and other features of the property, such as its style and location.

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