UK home owners set to spend £6 billion on property upgrades in next three years

Taylor Scott International News

Nearly a third of UK home owners are looking to carry out work on their home in the next three years, with up to £6 billion in projected works planned annually over the next three years. According to a new study from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) over a million home owners (1,050,000) are looking to build extra space to accommodate grown up children who can’t afford to leave home. Families up and down the country are seeking to be more creative with the space in their property with 22% of home owners investing because of a property plateau which sees them unable to afford to move in to a bigger property despite having a growing family. Almost 40% of home improvements are set to be major refurbishments, including new kitchens, new bathrooms and home extensions, while smaller works such as loft conversions and conservatories account for 38%. Home owners are putting families first, as wider motivations to invest in their property include planning for having a family and parents wishing to boost their children’s’ future inheritance. ‘We have seen a rising trend of multi-generational households with grown up children opting to stay with their parents while they save money for their own homes,’ said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB. The study also revealed that half of home owners feel their properties are in urgent need of modernisation to increase its value and a quarter of home owners in London wish to upgrade in order to let out their spare bedrooms or whole properties. Home owners in London, followed by Wales and Yorkshire are most likely to upgrade for stay at home kids who haven’t been able to move out and almost half of home owners in Northern Ireland feel compelled to upgrade their current homes as they cannot afford to move. The study also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four home owners feel out of their depth. Word of mouth remains essential, with 82% relying on personal recommendations to choose a builder, followed by 36% consulting trade association websites. When prioritising how to choose a builder, 63% say reliable references are the most important followed by 61% citing the cost of the quote, and 59% the professional manner when quoting and estimating. Some 55% said the most important thing was whether the firm is a member of a professional trade association and 54% rated knowledgeability as a top priority when discussing the project. Fear of being ripped off was the top worry, cited by 55%, while 29% were worried that a workman would make a major mistake and the same percentage cited anxiety that builders would disappear before finishing the work. Berry pointed out that the FMB has a Find a Builder matching service that is a simple, easy to use online tool to ensure home owners have absolute confidence when choosing a builder. ‘Our members have a minimum of 12 months’ trading history and have passed credit checks, public… Continue reading →

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