Increase your property’s appeal even as house price growth slows
Britain’s property boom has started to slow, with the end of the stamp duty tax holiday taking some of the urgency out of the market.
Buyer enquiries are still considerably above pre-pandemic levels, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but reduced activity means house price growth is likely to slow towards the end of the year.
However, there are several steps a seller can take – some large and some small – to maximise the value of their home, even if house price growth has stalled.
Some improvements will require planning permission, some will take several months to complete, and some will cost tens of thousands of pounds – but others are as simple as changing the handle on a door.
Telegraph Money lists five of the best methods below.
Refurbish the outside of your home
One of the cheapest ways to improve the “kerb appeal” of your home is to refurbish your front door. A new doorknob can cost around £35, a brass letterbox £25, and a stainless-steel house number between £5 and £25. Including a fresh lick of paint, fully refurbishing a front door can cost less than £100.
Tidying up the rest of the outside décor, including painting the house itself, can add up to 10pc onto a home’s value, according to Towergate, the insurance broker.
Painting the outside of the home is typically the biggest expense, and costs can vary considerably. There are a number of factors that will determine the final bill, including the size of the home, the current condition of the paintwork, and the number of repairs that may need to take place before work can start.
The hourly rates for tradesmen can vary depending on where you live in the country. According to Checkatrade, the average cost of a painter and decorator is around £20 to £25 per hour, but they may quote a day rate, likely to be in the region of £180 to £200 per day. Overall, the average cost to paint a house is usually between £425 and £1,500, Checkatrade said.
Convert your loft
A full loft conversion will set a homeowners back by around £17,500 on average, according to Towergate, but it should add roughly 15pc onto a home’s value – £31,096 on average, for a profit of about £13,500.
Adding a bedroom and en-suite bathroom while converting the loft can add up to 21pc on to the value of the home, according to Nationwide, rising to around 24.5pc in London.
You will need planning permission for certain kinds of loft conversion, so check before you start work. You will also need to tell your home insurer about any significant changes, and this may affect your premium.
Bear in mind you will likely lose storage space when converting your loft.
Turn your garage into a spare room
Research by Admiral Loans found that only a third of garage owners actually use theirs to house a car.
According to Towergate, converting a single garage to another room is the most effective way to add value to your home, but it does require a big outlay.
The average cost to do this is £15,450, with an average increase to house price value of £41,462, generating a profit of about £26,000.
Properly linking the new room to the main body of the house with a door is necessary to maximise the value gained.
If your garage is integral to the house and you are not planning to enlarge the exterior structure, it is unlikely you will need planning permission, unless the building is listed or you live in a conservation area.
If the garage is a separate structure, you may need to apply for planning permission for a change of use.
Energy-proof your home
Energy-proofing a home will add a modest boost to its value. Analysis from Nationwide found that an energy efficient property rated A or B attracts a premium of 1.7pc compared to a similar property rated D, the most common rating.
This would add roughly £4,183 to the average house price of £235,000. There is little difference for properties rated C or E compared with D.
According to My Utility Genius, a comparison site, just over a third of the heat in an average semi-detached house is lost through its walls.
Cavity wall insulation can cost up to £725 for a detached house and around £475 for a semi-detached property, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
In an uninsulated home, almost a quarter of heat is lost through the roof. Factoring in the cost of the materials, and the labour involved, insulating a loft typically costs between £300 and £400, according to job site My Builder.
Apply for planning permission
While building an extension or converting a loft, cellar or garage might add the most value to a home, this is not in everyone’s budget.
However, merely securing planning permission to do so can push up the value of a property.
The amount it will add depends on a number of factors, including the property’s location, when permission was obtained and how long it has left, and the extent of the work covered in the permission.
Homeowners in prime London locations could see the value of their home rise by as much as 10pc, according to architects Resi, while homes in other parts of the country might only rise by £1,000 in value.
By Will Kirkman (Daily Telegraph)
13 December 2021
Image by Jamie Street