The Great Relocate or Renovate Debate

Image of a couple renovating their house
The Relocators - People on the move

The Relocators - People on the move

UK graphic with relocation data

Following two years of restrictions, staying at home and working in a home office, a significant number of people are questioning whether they’re living in the right place. Where a home may have been convenient for work, or a smaller space could be tolerated because it was only used to eat and sleep in, there are several reasons why people are asking the “renovate or relocate” question.

Across Britain, over 14% of those surveyed are looking to move home in the next two years, with London leading the way with 23% of local participants saying they were ready to move, followed by 15% of people in Scotland.

More than a quarter of those looking to move admitted it was because they felt they have outgrown their current residence and require more space, and 20% saying they no longer need so much space and want to downsize. While these may be traditional reasons, 6% of respondents also said the main motivation for moving was they are now allowed to work remotely, and the commute time is no longer a reason for staying. 44% of those who identified commuting time as a leading factor lived in London.

Changes for those looking to move

Changes for those looking to move

A common thought when selling almost anything is, “do I need to fix something first?”

For example, if there is a scuff or dent on a car, would investing to have it fixed add more to the value than the cost of the repair? When it comes to homes, the survey revealed interesting data around what people are looking to move into, ranging from nicely decorated to move right into - to a blank canvas for them to make it their own.

When asked about the key considerations for moving into a new home, 24% would like to have a renovation project to make the home their own, while 22% would prefer the property to be recently renovated with not a lot of work required to improve.

Of those who would like a property to be ready to move into, 67% of survey respondents were aged between 45 and 64. Conversely, 43% of those who are looking for a renovation project are between 24 and 44 years old. With this in mind, looking at your local demographic can help you best judge the steps you may need to take - or not.

In many ways, making small improvements to a property can add significant value, and also make it more appealing to the next family that moves in. Some of the easiest ways to add value without breaking the bank are:

  • New fixtures and accessories
  • Move your space around
  • Update your wallpaper or fix any damage to paintwork
  • Refresh your window furnishings

According to Ideal Home, if done right, a bit of painting and decorating can add up to 5% to your home’s value!

The Renovators - Why are people staying put?

The Renovators - Why are people staying put?

Infographic image to show why people renovate instead of relocating

While a considerable number of people are looking to move, a large majority are not looking to move anytime soon. While this might not be out of the ordinary as it is, the data surrounding why we are mostly wanting to stay is.

While 63% replied they like the home they live in, and 58% said the area, others said the cost of moving put them off, and the idea of moving was too stressful (14% each).

Younger homeowners (those aged 18-24) make up the largest proportion (50%) of those concerned with the sustainability of a wood product, as well as the impact of leather (52%). Meanwhile, on a regional level, it’s London homeowners that care the most (24%) about sustainable wood.

The most common answer in almost every area to why people are staying in their homes was as simple as “I like the home I live in”. While this may sound like an absolute, the truth is somewhat different and renovation seems to be on many of our minds!

Of those staying in their current homes, only 5% said they were happy with their homes as they are. 95% are looking to make changes.

How much are renovators willing to spend?

How much are renovators willing to spend?

Our homes are very important places and it's only right that we invest in them to make them as comfortable as possible while still expressing our own characters. That said, these things do have a cost, so how much money are people in the UK willing to spend on renovating their homes?

We asked those looking to stay in their homes how much they intend to spend on renovating their properties. The largest number - 23% - plan to spend between £100 to £1000, while 11% said they’d spend a whopping £20,000 or more!

Infographic to show percentages people are willing to spend

Regionally, the expenditure for the highest number of respondents looking to renovate varies. The data shows:

infographic to show regional break down of what people are willing to spend
What changes are renovators making, and why?

What changes are renovators making, and why?

Infographic to show what changes people are making when renovating

So, what changes are people looking to make once they’ve identified their budget? Over 51% said they’d use the money to make their home more stylish, 45% said it was to make the home meet their needs for additional comfort, and 31% said it was so they can feel proud when people visit.

Linking to the earlier point about improving the overall value of the home, almost 20% said it was to improve the value of their property. This is most prevalent in the South East (24%) and South West (14%) of England. It's also a mindset found most in those aged between 45 and 64.

Over 75% of those surveyed are planning projects to decorate their homes, with a significant number from all age groups. 63% of people aged 18-24 plan to update curtains, blinds and soft furnishings as a quick interior design win, while over 40% of 35-44 year olds are looking to update the furniture in their homes. With that same group looking to make their homes more comfy, this makes perfect sense.

While some around the UK are looking to undertake larger changes, such as fitting a new kitchen (19%), new bathroom (23%) or loft conversions (4%), its seems that more cost effective quick wins are at the top of most people’s agendas regardless of age or region.

Over 12% are also looking to invest in improving their homes energy efficiency. While good for the environment, such an investment can also help to combat the rise in cost of living. While many will naturally look to better windows or low energy lighting, conscious decorators can combine style with function by adding a thermal lining to a new curtain or Roman blind. These help restrict heat loss, saving energy and money!

Home Product Purchasing

What have we learned?

Of course most people’s individual circumstances vary from one another, however, throughout this whole debate it is clear that whether you are looking to stay, or move, renovating your home at least a little can have a significantly positive impact.

Those looking to stay put are more willing to invest more heavily in their renovations and try to make the most out of their homes for the longer haul. However, that said, even those looking to move can improve their negotiating position by making investments now which will pay off when it comes to moving.

Renovators can take advantage of a great selection of home decor upgrades to transform where they live. From new sofas and chairs coupled with striking new curtains and wallpaper, to loft conversions and new kitchens, there are plenty of ways you can transform your home without the hassle and expense of moving.

Relocators are best served by fixing and repairing any damaged or worn out home furnishings. New blinds, a fresh lick of paint and a deep clean of the kitchen can make your home a much more attractive prospect for buyers. Just remember, if your home is in an area with a younger demographic, look to plainer colours which the new residents can build upon - but if there is an older demographic, a nicely decorated space that's good to go for the new residents will serve you well.

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