The traditional climb up the housing ladder has been disrupted by a number of factors, both positive and negative, in the last few years. However, the trend of improving not moving is only gaining traction, with planning permission for extensions, basements and loft conversions in London rising by 60% in five years. So, if you need more space, but are not sure if you should improve or move, here are five reasons why you should consider renovating your property rather than moving:

The cost of moving
According to Rightmove’s moving calculator, based on the average house price in London, which is £607,686, the average cost of moving house in the capital (including stamp duty) is £26,460. That’s a lot of money, considering it is only a £1,000 less than the UK’s average salary. Most of this cost is made up of stamp duty, while the rest comes from legal fees and other incidentals, such as hiring a removal firm.

While an extension, basement or loft conversion may cost more, this is an investment that can add value to your house, when the cost of moving is just considered by many to be lost money.

Stamp duty
There have been changes to stamp duty and land tax in the last couple of years and the changes have hit London the hardest, due to soaring house prices. As mentioned above, the average house price in London is £607,686; this means those buying at this price and up to £925,000 will be paying 5% stamp duty, while anyone buying a property on or over £925,001, to £1.5 million, will pay double that at 10%. Those buying property at £1.5 million or above will be paying 12%. The rise in stamp duty is believed to be one of the major factors contributing to the ‘improve, not move’ trend.

Unpredictable London Housing market
There is no getting away from the fact that the London housing market has become a little uncertain of late. The changes in stamp duty, Brexit, political and economic uncertainty have contributed to the unpredictability in the market, and many are waiting to see what happens. In the meantime, it can make sense to undertake improvements, which traditionally helps to raise the value of your house, while also giving you the extra space you need.

Reduce upheaval
Of course, housing is not all about money; you may not wish to move because you do not want to cause upheaval in your own life or your children’s. Moving house is stressful and in today’s market, it might be difficult for you to find a bigger house nearby that is affordable. This may mean that you have to move further afield, which can add time to your commute or you may have to move your children to another school. So, instead, it might be better to extend and/or reconfigure your home, giving you the space you need for modern family life.

You quite simply don’t want to move
While you may need more space, you may not want to move because you love your house, the area, your children’s school or you just hate the idea of moving. You may have your life set up perfectly with a good commute and a wide local social network; or, you may have family nearby and either don’t want to leave them or can’t, due to caring obligations. Whatever your reasons, creating more space in the shape of an extension, loft conversion or basement conversion may be just what you need for your family to grow.

Looking for more space in your London home and don’t want to move? Then contact us for a free site survey.

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