Property Values Increase With DIY

With green improvements coming high on the agenda

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As house prices flatten, a quarter of homeowners (28%) planning to undertake home improvements in the next twelve months will do so specifically to add value to their houses.

The annual Halifax Home Improvement Survey highlights home improvement trends in the UK. Almost half (44%) believe these home improvements will add up to £5,000 to the value of their property, with over one in ten (12%) believing the increase will be between £10-£25k

Most popular home improvements are – redecorating (71%); garden improvements (35%); new furnishings (33%); new carpets (25%); laminate/wood flooring (22%), new bathroom (21%).

Green improvements on the agenda – Almost one in five (17%) introduced energy efficiency measures into their homes as the environment acquires a growing importance. The trend in young developers strengthens – first time buyers and younger people are more and more involved in home improvements with almost three quarters (74%) of 18-34 claiming to have carried out home improvements in the last twelve months, up from two-thirds (68%) last year.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' Building Cost Information Service research published this week, homeowners no longer have a glut of quality European tradesmen to choose from. This could also have fuelled the boom in DIY as an increasing number of central and eastern European nationals have returned to their native countries.

Half of the estimated one million British-based Poles have recently left the UK, according to estimates, a factor that has increased competition and pushed up costs for labour.

DIY devotees

It’s not all about the money though, improving is swiftly becoming a national pastime. Nearly one in six people (14%) claimed to have carried out home improvements just for fun according to the Halifax research. Russell Galley, head of mainstream mortgages: "In the current market, homeowners can inject value into their homes by undertaking the right home improvements. Carrying out work on your home can be rewarding but costly to correct if not executed properly. Where appropriate, consult the professionals and seek any necessary planning permission before getting started."

One in six green-fingered home improvers estimated that their work in the garden, along with any other home improvements, would have added over £10,000 to the value of their property.

Christian Harper Oliver Finn

June 11, 2008