Posted on 16th May 2014

The Growing Home Improvement Boom


By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors www.latimerhinks.co.uk

The housing market isn't going to decelerate anytime soon, with recent figures suggesting that property prices will continue to rise. But, this positivity does come at a price.

House prices rose by 9.1% in the year to February, a significant increase from the January figure of 6.8%, according to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). With such a rise and buoyant market, people are potentially being priced out of moving into a new home and larger premises, so they are taking matters into their own hands.

The number of homeowners having major work carried out on their properties rose by 20 percent in the first quarter of the year, with the Royal Bank of Scotland reporting a 26% increase in the number of its customers looking to increase their mortgages to fund extension projects.

In separate research, Zoopla, a property search website, recently conducted a survey of 5,000 people, which showed that 42 percent of homeowners plan to carry out some sort of home improvement.

A single-storey extension can cost anywhere between £20,000 and £50,000, which in the scheme of things, is a fraction of the price of a new home. The relative low cost of expanding an existing property, as opposed to spending three or even four times that figure on a new home, is key to attracting homeowners to this alternative. Even a conservatory can be constructed for as little as £5,000.

The number of home improvements to properties whether to add value to the home or create more space is likely continue to grow following recent Government plans to scrap local authority charges for extensions to family homes.

This is also good news for small builders, who wont have to pay these charges either, with some councils charging a staggering £32,000 to build a home from scratch. However, charges for a home improvement will be far less costly.

Should the Governments plans come into fruition, one has to imagine that there will be an even greater demand for extensions, which will only continue to drive property prices higher.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.

Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: www.latimerhinks.co.uk or call 01325 341500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Marie Carter on 01325 363 436.

Notes to editors:

Latimer Hinks solicitors, based in Darlington, has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients.

Their range of expertise and services covers legal issues surrounding commercial, residential and agricultural property, wills and lasting powers of attorney, trusts, probate, long-term care, tax planning, commercial law, alternative and renewable energy, property and disputes, business rescue, employment, and land-owning.