Recession triggers home improvement boom

Caroline Cassidy

It might have been bad news for buyers and sellers alike, but the recession did have one plus point when it came to the property market.

Recession triggers home improvements boom
Recession triggers home improvements boom

Pic: Getty

According to the latest figures from the Bank of England, British homeowners managed to cut their mortgage debt by a total of £15.4 billion between April and June, suggesting that householders were opting to add value to their property with home improvements.

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In fact, record numbers are reportedly choosing to improve their homes with loft conversions and extensions rather than pay the high price of moving to a bigger property.

This is in sharp contrast to the pre-recession housing market mood, where so many British homeowners simply remortgaged to pay for new cars or holidays, or sold up and moved on to bigger and better houses.

When the credit crunch bit, the cost of moving became prohibitive for many, with lenders being ever more cautious, and stamp duty rising to three per cent on a home worth between £250,000 and £500,000, triggering a rise in the numbers of homeowners looking to add value to their existing properties instead.
In addition to this significant change in attitude, low interest rates have meant that many Brits have been able to overpay their mortgage, slashing the time it will take to pay off as well as the interest on the loan.

Henry Pryor, an independent housing expert, told the Daily Mail: "Homeowners are being responsible. They are hunkering down and doing what they were told to do - act responsibly and pay down your debts."

Have you managed to slash your mortgage debt since the credit crunch began, or are you adding value with a home improvement project? Leave your comments below...