80% of homeowners who have thought about moving home since lockdown began, say they are now even more likely to do so as a result of the recent stamp duty freeze.
In London, 30% are considering moving away, while research from comparethemarket.com also found that 57% of those considering moving home are now looking at higher value properties than before the stamp duty freeze was announced.
Many homeowners are also still carrying on with home improvements to increase the value of their current property, with a third (32%) currently planning to undertake some form of renovation.
Looking back over the last 12 months, 62% of homeowners have already made home improvements, spending an average of £3,000 on the work. Of these, 58% did so in favour of moving up the housing ladder.
27% cited cheaper costs as a reason for undertaking home improvements than moving, while one-fifth (20%) wanted to increase the value of their current home for a later sale.
However, 14% of those who made improvements during the last 12 months went over budget.
Lockdown has been a main driver to encourage homeowners to either move house or make improvements, with nearly two-fifths (39%) saying that they had been planning to make changes for a while and lockdown inspired them to do so. 36% said that the decision came as a result of spending more time in their home which made them notice it needed improvements, while 24% said the extended time spent indoors has increased general ‘wear and tear’ within the home.
Of those who decided to make home improvements during the last 12 months, just 20% reviewed their buildings and contents insurance policies to check the small print on carrying out work and a further 21% checked whether all contractors, including builders and architects, are fully insured.
Chris King, head of home insurance at comparethemarket.com, said: “The Chancellor’s decision to freeze stamp duty has inspired many homeowners across the UK to make the decision to move property and look above their initial price range. However, moving can still be expensive when you consider other costs such as legal fees, estate agents fees and removals. Our research reveals that many homeowners are opting to use that money to update their interior design, or add a new kitchen or bathroom to their home. Such improvements could increase the value of the property further when they do decide to sell.
“If improvement work is done on the home, you must then inform your insurer of the changes made. Properties that are undergoing building work can constitute more of a risk to insurers and if you are planning to undertake major works it is always worth notifying them. They need to know if the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is changing, or if there are changes to security features like locks on windows and doors. Equally, there is a risk to contents when premises are unsecured and if a larger range of people have access to your property. Or, if you are planning to carry out the work yourself, it’s worth considering accidental damage cover to protect you against any potential mishaps. Always check the terms and conditions of your policy to see what it covers before starting any major home improvements.”