Life under lockdown has forced many of us to rethink and adjust the way we use our living environment. From home offices to a relaxing outdoor space to socialise, UK homeowners have started to realise that they now need more space, however, does this mean you should build an extension or buy a larger property?
Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we've taken on this investigation to answer this crucial question, "Should you move or improve your home in 2021?"
Is it a good time to buy?
The housing market is thriving at the moment with Rightmove reporting an 11% increase of purchase enquiries compared with last year. This is mainly down to buyers wanting to complete on their purchases before the 31 March 2021 deadline when the stamp duty holiday is set to end. The good news is that the stamp duty holiday has been extended until the end of June this year giving more Brits the chance to bag their perfect home at an affordable price.
Stamp duty rates have been suspended since 8th July 2020 on properties costing up to £500,000, meaning buyers could save anywhere between 2 and 5%. With the average house price in the UK being £232,710, that equates to a saving of £4654.20, which some buyers have been using top up their deposit or putting towards legal and admin fees.
However, unlike in 2020 where property prices saw a 1.4% decrease in value, there is likely to be potential growth in the market of 4% meaning house prices can expect to increase by £10,000, according to FTSE 250-listed estate agent, Savills.
Should I make home improvements instead?
If moving house isn't a viable option or just isn't on your priority list at the moment, add value to your home with some well thought out home improvements.
According to Zoopla, the installation of bi-fold doors can generate a 56% profit while a bit of landscaping can bring in a 43% return.
However, for many homeowners who chose to take on home improvements, 40% of them said it was to create a cosier living space rather than to turn a profit, and 23% said they upgraded to improve energy efficiency.
If you do want to make improvements to your property, decide if you're going to add value to your property before selling or just improve your home to better suit your lifestyle.
What if I'm on a budget?
Being on a budget doesn't mean that you can't make improvements to your home. Whether you have £1,000 or £20,000, focus on the changes that will impact the way you feel about your house.
Below are our top suggestions on how you can make the most of your home improvement budget:
- £1,000 - Upgrade your interior lightening to make your home feel brighter and modern.
- £2,500 - Landscape your garden to create a space which will make you spend more time outdoors.
- £5,000 - Upgrade your current bathroom or install an en-suite.
- £10,000 - Get a new kitchen and update your appliances.
- £20,000 - Create an extra bedroom or office space for ever-growing families.
If you need some inspiration for your home improvement project, social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are great places to start. With so many home and interior influencers ready to share the latest trends, you'll never be short of home improvement ideas.