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Homeowners choosing to improve not move: Barclays

Brits are now staying in their property for an average of 19 years before moving, according to research by Barclays Mortgages.

The 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report found 54 per cent of homeowners choose to stay put and improve their property instead of moving on.

The most popular improvements to make are fitting new carpets (35 per cent), installing a new kitchen (31 per cent), and landscaping the garden (29 per cent). The most desired home improvements are bi-fold doors into the garden (30 per cent), smart home tech (26 per cent) and a spa bathroom (20 per cent).

The report also found the biggest home improvement faux pas include woodchip wallpaper, mirrored ceilings, carpeted bathrooms, ugly blinds and fake beams.

Data produced for the report in conjunction with Hometrack found those in Wales are the least likely to move home regularly, with the average homeowner staying put for nearly 23 years. However, those in Scotland are the quickest movers, upping sticks after an average of almost 15 years.

The research found the main reason people improve their home is to make their property reflect their personal taste (48 per cent), while one in four (25 per cent) stated their main motivation was to increase the value of their property.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of those surveyed by Barclays Mortgages said that whilst they did want to move, they have had to improve their current home because they cannot afford to do so.

The report also found that social media is having an increasingly large impact on people’s approach to updating their property – particularly in the younger age groups. For example, four in ten (43 per cent) 23 to 34-year olds surveyed stated that they had been inspired to improve their home from what they have seen on social media.

TV property expert Phil Spencer says, “There has long been an appetite for home improvements in the UK, and with so many of us now staying in our properties for such a long time, it is clear that our homes are so much more than just bricks and mortar – they are a space for us to relax and enjoy times with our loved ones, so it is important to make them fit for purpose.

“It is also really interesting to see how social media is impacting on our attitude to home improvements. It’s clear that the likes of Instagram and Pinterest are really inspiring particularly the younger generation and I’m sure this is partly contributing to the changing interior tastes. I would encourage anyone looking to update their home to take inspiration where they can, but always think about the long-term – ask yourself how something will look in three, five, 10 years before committing your time and money.”

Barclays head of mortgages Hannah Bernard says: “The Barclays Mortgages Home Improvement Report highlights a strong appetite among homeowners to make improvements. We understand that there are many motivations for updating your home, from simply wanting to make your home better reflect your own tastes to adding more space for a growing family.”

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