13th March 2018

Homeowners would rather renovate than move, new Hiscox research shows

Hiscox renovations and extensions report 2018
Phil Thorn
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Phil Thorn

Phil Thorn was Head of UK Propositions in Hiscox UK. He has worked in a variety of marketing, online, product management and leadership roles in Europe, US and UK.

Should we stay or should we go? Homeowners in the UK are opting for the former, new Hiscox research reveals, with a whopping 400% increase in those deciding to improve, not move, over the past five years.

What factors are driving people's desire to renovate their current property rather than up sticks? 

Our research, conducted through interviews with 1200 homeowners, highlighted oft-cited barriers to moving home such as:

  • prohibitively high property prices (25%) 
  • sluggish property market (15%)
  • stamp duty (13%)
  • potential interest rate rises (8%) 
  • uncertainty caused by Brexit (8%)

Most popular renovations and extensions

Not all renovations are equal. Drawing on wider insight from homeowners, UK-wide estate agents and more than 400 local council planning permission records, our report shows that bathroom and kitchen renovations remain the most popular, yet full garden redesigns are now blossoming, having seen the most growth.

Not to be outdone, loft renovations are rocketing skyward with a 114% increase in planning permission over the past nine years – they remain the most popular type of renovation that needs planning permission.

It seems the decision to improve instead of move is a new normal for homeowners whose lifestyles are evolving. People are looking at ways to adapt their existing homes to meet their changing needs, whether that’s a growing family or the beginnings of a new home business.

Budget and project challenges

With the increase in renovations and improvements, come budget and project challenges as our research shows that two in five projects overspent by an average of 20% and 35% were delayed over the past 9 years. While disputes with neighbours are most common in London. 

Many view home renovations as an easier or more economical alternative to moving, but our report highlights that these projects are often underestimated in both cost and scale.

View the full Hiscox Renovations and Extensions report 2018

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