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1 in 8 home improvers planning to create more space

15th January 2015 Print

Accommodating their growing family is behind the majority of homeowners’ desires to create more space in their property, new research has revealed.

According to a survey carried out for mortgage and loans provider Ocean Finance, more than half (54%) of homeowners in the UK are planning to carry out improvements of some sort on their properties this year. One in eight (12%) of these have ambitions to create more useable space in their properties. Of these, 7.2% are planning an extension of some sort, and 4.8% are considering converting either their loft, garage or cellar.

While decorating is the most popular home improvement being planned by homeowners in 2015 - with a quarter (25%) saying they hope to paint and decorate - extending their property is also a popular option. And it seems the main motivation for this is so homeowners can ensure there is space for their families to get the most from their properties without moving.

Of those property owners who are planning to create more living space by way of either an extension or conversion, nearly two-fifths (39%) said this is so they can accommodate their growing family. Meanwhile, around one in seven (14%) revealed it is because they have grown-up children who are returning to the family nest, or older relatives who are moving in with them.

While family clearly comes first for many of today’s homeowners, other motivations given for wishing to extend include needing more space for storage (18%); preferring large open spaces from a stylistic perspective (10%); the view that it is cheaper than moving (8.8%); and a desire to add value to the property (8.8%).

Clearly 2015 is set to be a year of home improvements:

Planned home improvements - % of homeowners planning them

Decorating 25%

New kitchen 8.3%

New bathroom 7%

Extension 3.9%

Loft, garage or cellar conversion 2.6%

New boiler 2.4%

Double glazing or insulation 2%

Ian Williams, spokesman for Ocean, says: “Despite the recent Stamp Duty changes, moving house is expensive - with legal and estate agency fees and moving costs to meet. So it’s no surprise that so many homeowners are looking to improve and in some cases extend their existing property.

“Creating more space is clearly a popular option, with 12% of home improvers saying this is their plan. It’s interesting to see that a leading motivation for this is family; whether that’s more children coming along or grown-up kids coming back. It goes to show that many families are willing to put in the work and the investment if it ensures their home grows with them.”