Roughly two in five homeowners in the UK would rather build an extension than move homes, following recent changes in planning law, according to a recent report from TSB Bank.
The new rules introduced in May 2019 let homeowners put up a single-storey rear extension, of up to six metres for terraced or semi-detached homes or eight metres for detached homes. Before this, homeowners had to make planning applications to local councils for extensions of this size, which included an upfront fee and potential approval waiting times that could last several months.
Recent reforms mean that homeowners are now able to improve and add value to their existing home through rear extensions as well as increase living space for growing families, rather than having to move to a larger property.
The new research found that 80 per cent of people thought the change in regulations will make disputes within neighbourhoods more likely, with 79 per cent saying they thought that people would have their view spoilt by new extensions.
Over the next three years, 19 per cent of homeowners are now more likely to build a rear extension as a result of this change in the law, according to the report from TSB Bank.
Of those surveyed, 50 per cent said they would build an extension as they want more space, while 49 per cent said the cost of moving is too expensive. Also, 25 per cent stated that they would rather stay where they are because they love their existing location.
In regards to how homeowners would pay for their extensions, 35 per cent said that they would consider re-mortgaging their home, which was a popular option for 54 per cent of 18-to-34 year olds.
Adding value with added floor space
Nick Smith, head of mortgages at TSB Bank, commented: “It’s no surprise that homeowners cite the cost of moving as one of the biggest barriers to affording a new home or moving up the property ladder. Building an extension is a great way to add extra space without having to undertake the additional costs such as Stamp Duty and legal fees.”
James Ginley technical director of Legal & General Surveying Services, pointed out that, “where space is at a premium, quite simply adding floor area adds value.”
He added: “Good design, layout and functionality of homes is increasingly important. Homebuyers want the space but tasteful extensions and modern open plan living areas offered by extensions are value-generating.”