Multiple lockdowns have resulted in a reassessment of our living spaces. Back in June last year when the property market reopened, we saw a sharp rise in demand for larger homes in more rural areas with enough space for everyone in the home to work and relax – inside and out.
With property in high demand and prices rising at an unprecedented rate here in Scotland, many people have looked at improving their existing home.
Over the last 15 months, we have all spent less money on entertainment, eating out, foreign travel and luxuries leaving us more funds to invest in our homes. The Bank of England estimate that households collectively set aside £125bn of extra savings between March and November last year.
According to Barbour ABI who carried out the study, there has been a 25% rise in the number of planning applications for home improvements submitted last year compared to the five-year average. The figures show that homeowners were not only looking for more space last year but were also keen to make the best use of the space they already had.
Planning applications are highest for garages here in Scotland with a 50% increase, as people look to find an area of their home to transform into an additional living space to work from home or create an extra living space. Since March last year we have also reconnected with our gardens due to the great weather we experienced in the first lockdown and the restriction of only being able to entertain and see family outside during the second lifting of lockdown.
Here are the figures for planning applications from homeowners in Scotland:
Garage: 50% increase
Extension: 2.1% increase
Loft extension: 8.7% decrease
Conservatory: 32.6% decrease
Garden works: 8.3% increase
The picture across the rest of the UK looks very different to the figures in Scotland, but still with most increases seen for garages and extensions.
On average, the UK wide increases in planning to develop garages soared by 25.3% while there was a 7.5% increase for garden buildings and works and a 4.3% rise for extensions.
However, there has been a drop in some applications including a drop of 20.9% for conservatories and 2.3% for loft conversions.
Improving your home can not only give you a more enjoyable quality of life, it will also add value to your property. If you’re looking to do home improvements for the purpose of selling now or in the near future, you might consider creating a garden room that could be used as a home office or transforming an existing area of the home into a more useable space.
Contact us if you’re selling your home. We can provide you with a free appraisal and ensure you’re the first to know about any new listings that meet your requirements.