Following three months of coronavirus lockdown, 69% of homeowners want to make changes to improve their homes, and a further 7% are thinking of selling and moving to a better property, according to research from Aldermore Bank.
However, after the lockdown experience, 37% of UK homeowners say they value their homes more now, but within this group 64% would still like to make improvements.
Of the seven in 10 homeowners seeking to improve their homes, 47% want to redecorate by repainting or putting down new floors or carpet. Making garden or terrace improvements was also a big priority with 42% wanting to do this and 30% now planning a new bathroom or kitchen renovation. 15% are looking at major construction by planning an extension on their property.
Due to lockdown, many homeowners are now seeking to make their homes more multi-purpose. Of those looking at improvements, 14% are looking to add dedicated office space and 13% want a place for exercising, with a further 10% having childcare on their minds and are looking at more room for their children to study and play.
Motivation for home improvements appears particularly strong among Millennials and Generation Z (18 to 34 year olds), with 87% wanting to make upgrades post-lockdown, compared to 76% of 35 to 54 year olds and over half of over-55s (56%). Specifically, over a quarter of Millennials and Generation Z want more exercising space and more office space, with an additional 18% looking at more study and play areas for their children.
The 18 to 34 years old age group show the greatest motivation to sell their property post-lockdown. 14% said they want to move, compared to 11% among 35 to 54 year olds and just 1% of the over-55s age group.
Meanwhile, 82% of London homeowners said they want to make improvements to their homes, the highest of all UK regions (UK average 69%). Londoners appear motivated primarily to make their properties more flexible to their needs, with 29% saying adding an appropriate workspace is a top priority, compared to 14% in the UK overall. Additionally, 20% of Londoners are looking for more space to exercise compared to the 13% UK average.
In addition, 18% of Londoners said the lockdown period had motivated them to sell and move properties, the highest proportion out of all the UK regions (UK average 7%).
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “The lockdown period has redefined what our homes need to be so it is not surprising homeowners are focusing their minds on what changes are required to enhance their living spaces. Among younger people perhaps in their first home and in London where space can be tight, the lockdown period has clearly created challenges for people in finding the right balance in their homes as a place to work, exercise, raise children, and socialise.
“As we ease out of lockdown, now is a good time to turn home plans into action, and for those planning major changes, such as moving home or seeking a remortgage, it is important to seek advice on your financial options. The mortgage market is open for business and here to assist people in making their home everything it needs to be.”