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Home improvement value falls

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Experts have warned homeowners that big DIY projects are failing to add value to homes compared to last year.

Many consumers add improvements such as loft conversions, room extensions, new windows and kitchens in a hope to add value to their property if they decided to sell. The property market could also be a reason many homeowners are choosing to improve their home instead of moving up the property ladder due to recent tighter mortgage rules.

According to the HSBC annual Home Improvement Survey the benefits of home improvements have fallen in value. A typical loft conversion would now only increase a property value by £16,152 which is significantly lower than the £20,876 that a loft conversion would have added last year.

A loft conversion remains the improvement that could add the most value to a property, a room extension is second and a conservatory third. However with the rising price of building materials and labour some homeowners could be left with a loss if a conversion costs £20,000 but only adds £16,000 to the value of the property.

The survey showed how much improvements have changed over the past year with bigger DIY improvements losing money and resulting in homeowners being out of pocket. The results from the survey also highlighted the difference in value for areas of the UK. A new kitchen in London could add value of £9,125 compared to the North-East of England which could add £4,300 and Scotland stood the lowest at £2,333.

Peter Dockar, Head of Mortgages at HSBC commented: “Homeowners should think carefully about the type and extent of any home-improvement works they are planning. Those which enhance quality of life while retaining broad appeal should be favoured over more individually styled alterations.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge