Nearly one in three homeowners who are not planning to move would be more likely to do so if stamp duty costs were cut further, a survey has found.
Around three in five (59%) homeowners surveyed for comparethemarket.com said they plan to snub moving up the housing ladder amid the current economic uncertainty in favour of making home improvements.
Some 31% of these people said high house prices had put them off moving - while 31% also admitted they would be encouraged to move if there was a significant cut in stamp duty.
The way stamp duty is charged on a property has already recently undergone an overhaul, which made it cheaper for the majority of homeowners liable to pay it. In Scotland, stamp duty has been replaced with the land and buildings transaction tax.
But according to comparethemarket.com the average cost of stamp duty still stands at more than £3,500, rising to more than £16,700 in London.
Some 38% of people who planned to make improvements said they were doing so to increase the value of their property.
According to calculations from comparethemarket.com, adding an extra bedroom to a property could increase its value by £18,826, based on average house prices, while a loft conversion could add an extra £15,189 and an extra bathroom £13,050.
A new kitchen could add around £12,408 to the value of an average home, while a conservatory could add £10,696 and a landscaped garden £7,701, comparethemarket.com found.
Gemma Sonfield, head of home insurance at comparethemarket.com, said: "The huge growth in house prices since 2009, which has seen the average price go from just over £150,000 in June 2009 to nearly £214,000 in June 2016, makes it difficult for many people to make the move they'd ideally want and, for a lot of would-be movers, stamp duty is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
"With nearly four in ten homeowners saying that they would undertake home improvements specifically to increase the value of their home, 'improve before you move' is becoming an important tactic for climbing the housing ladder."
More than 2,500 home owners took part in the survey.
The most viewed properties
The most viewed properties
In Zoopla's list of the most viewed properties in recent weeks, this whopper comes in at number 9.
The £2 million property in Doncaster has planning permission to be turned into a hotel or wedding venue, and has been seen a whopping 14,000 times in a month.
This two-bedroom flat in Canary Wharf is on the market for £675,000. The attractions of imagining your life in a warehouse conversion with plenty of space and light means that 16,000 people have looked at it in a month.
This new five-bed property in South Oxfordshire is an excellent example of how much prices have risen in that part of the country - with an asking price of £1.195 million.
Clearly the attractions of being near Reading (without actually being in Reading) are driving enormous demand - with 37,000 views in a month
This five-bedroom detached house in Skelmersdale is on the market for offers over £210,000. The fact that such a normal-looking family house has been seen by 45,000 people in a month owes something to the fact that the owners built it themselves - to a particularly high spec - and as a result it is pricey for the area.
This four-bed detached house doesn't look particularly striking from the front, so it must be hard to see why it's worth £299,950 - an impressive sum for the area. This goes some way to explaining its 69,000 views in a month.
All is revealed round the back, however, as the property opens up in acres of glass to reveal spacious open-plan living.
This newly built seven-bedroom detached house has enough attractions to justify the £3.25 million price tag (not least the underground car showroom with space for 30 cars). The 73,000 views may also have something to do with the elegant writing style of the estate agent.
Phrases used in the listing include: "This must be the jewel in the crown for Royal Sutton Coldfield gentry." And: "The rear garden is enchanting."
On the outside it's a bog standard terrace in Bootle, Merseyside. But on the inside its a dramatically refurbished property with statement lighting aplenty.
It's no wonder this £85,000 property had 80,000 views in a month - and is the third most-viewed home.
A two-bedroom flat in the former home of Arsenal Football cub is on the market for £660,000. Clearly die hard fans have been captivated by the idea of living in this iconic building - complete with a grass courtyard with plenty of room for a kick-about. It has been viewed an impressive 95,000 times, making it the second most viewed property.
But the most viewed home in the country is the six-bedroom Lindisfarne Farm in County Durham - on the market for just £175,000.
An incredible 475,000 people have seen it in the past month, drawn by the enormous rooms, the incredible views, and the idea of being able to live a simple life, away from it all, for just £175,000.