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Are you a mover or an improver?

Are you a mover or an improver?

Category: Loans

Updated: 07/06/2016
First Published: 07/06/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

When you indulge in a spot of home improvement, is your primary motivation to create your dream home, or to secure financial gain if you were to sell it? Well, research from Zopa has found that the majority of householders choose to renovate their home to live in for the long term, and have no interest in the potential boost to their house price.

Long-term aspirations

The research found that 73% of those who are renovating their properties have no interest whatsoever in the financial gain of doing so, with their homes being far more than a financial investment. Indeed, 67% plan to stay in their home for five years or more, showing that most want to renovate to create a dream home that they can live in for the long term.

Essentially, the UK appears to be a nation of improvers rather than movers, with just 27% of those who'd taken out a home improvement loan intending to get their home re-valued after renovations, and just 9% saying they'd need to move in order to be in their ideal home.

Many are ramping up their home improvement spend, too, with Zopa customers having borrowed over £50m to improve their homes so far this year, an increase of 54% compared with the same period a year ago. Much of this cash will be focused on improving the kitchen, with 34% of home improvement loans being spent on this room, and a fifth of respondents (19%) said that they'd need a bigger kitchen for their home to be perfect.

However, it seems that a bit of renovation can do the trick for many, with the overwhelming majority (97%) saying they were pleased with the renovations and 40% saying that they're now in their perfect home. Even among those who still don't think their property is perfect, just 22% said they'd need to move, with the majority focusing on more improvement works including better décor (31%), the aforementioned bigger kitchen (19%) and more bedrooms (19%).

This desire to improve instead of move could go some way to explaining why house sales have slumped recently, with data from HMRC showing that housing transactions in April were down 14% compared with the same month last year. This could suggest that a growing number of people are seeking to improve their homes rather than sell up, and with personal loan rates among the lowest ever recorded, it makes a lot of sense.

Leaving it to the professionals

What also makes a lot of sense is leaving the bulk of the work to the professionals. Indeed, 73% turned to the experts to complete their home improvements, with 45% using that expertise for the entire job. Just 13% undertook all the renovations themselves, and the same percentage sought help from family and friends.

This may be surprising given that 86% said they'd happily take on some form of renovation work, with 77% saying they'd be happy to do painting, 51% keen to take on wallpapering and 32% happy to complete tiling. People were least confident when it came to masonry work (6%), bricklaying (7%) and plastering (10%), and it's these kinds of tasks that a professional should always be considered for. This may add another cost, but it could be worth it in the long run!

Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa, commented on the findings: "It's positive to see that the majority of people are improving their homes to live in for the long term, rather than selling up and moving. While renovating can seem pricey, it's significantly less expensive and disruptive than moving house."

Not only that, but as Jaidev points out, choosing a personal loan allows customers to spread the cost of their renovations over a number of years through affordable monthly repayments – and because it's a fixed term, you'll have certainty over your repayments and will know that you'll be debt-free when you reach the end of the term, too.

So, if you're thinking of making a few home improvements, check out our personal loan calculator to see if you can secure the funds to create your dream home.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.