GE Money Home Lending warns against kitchen refits

Fitting a new kitchen or bathroom might not be the most cost effective home improvement to increase the value of a property, research from GE Money Home Lending warns.

It claims the these modifications, plus general decorating, do not increase the value of a home by as much as an estate agent’s top choice – a loft conversion.

The research shows carrying out a loft conversion or a room extension could increase the value of a home by almost £42,000 whereas a new kitchen and bathroom would add on average only £13,400.

Giacomo Gigantiello, unsecured loans sales leader at GE Money Home Lending, says: “Home owners planning improvements to their homes this summer to specifically increase the value of their property could be missing out on the most valuable additions.

“At a time of year when many are planning to improve the value and desirability of their homes, it is important that consumers appreciate and establish DIY and renovation tasks which will add the most equity to their particular home.”

He adds: “In many cases home owners automatically opt for a new kitchen or bathroom.

“Whilst these are valuable additions to any home, the findings from this research show that it is also important to consider improvements that will ultimately increase a property’s living area.”

Best value home improvements differ considerably, both in type and value, depending on region and style of property.

In the more metropolitan and densely populated areas of London and the South East, loft conversions on average offer the best potential increase to a property’s value, adding as much as £44,500.

However, in Yorkshire, conservatories backing out onto open spaces benefit properties most, adding almost £25,000.

Even estate agents’ widely considered least profitable improvement, outdoor decking, varies hugely on location.

In built up areas such as London, where making the most of any outdoor space is important, decking adds on average £2,350.

In contrast, in the countryside dominated South West, a decked or terraced area adds only £470.