Homeowners adding to current home rather than moving

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Property owners in the UK are increasingly choosing to invest in home improvements rather than move house.

That’s the verdict of industry experts who have reacted to new figures from the Bank of England showing a declining rate of equity withdrawals throughout the country.

According to ftadviser.com, just £8.6 billion worth of equity was injected in the third quarter of 2011, compared with £9.1 billion in the second quarter.

A review of the figures by property journalists at BBC News has suggested that rather than taking on more debt to move into a bigger property, homeowners are putting cash back into their home with the refurbishment or addition of extra rooms.

Adding a basement, loft conversion or new conservatory to a home are popular methods of adding to its value. Even adding small touches such as new rugs, curtains or conservatory blinds can increase the perceived value of a home more than some may expect.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner has predicted that these trends will continue well in 2012 and beyond due to the poor state of the UK’s housing market.

Speaking to bbc.co.uk, he explained that high unemployment, tough lending conditions and an uncertain economic outlook would prevent many of those wanting to move home from doing so.