Which home improvements yield the best (& worst) returns for property values?

Date Published 20 August 2018

Over a quarter of home improvements are carried out 'specifically to add value to a property', according to some research by GoCompare, with redecorating, new kitchens and new floors topping the list of popular jobs. But many of these projects end up costing more than the value they add.

So GoCompare teamed up with property pundit Henry Pryor to try to put some numbers behind home-owners' decision. Pryor and GoCompare have devised a 'property investment calculator' which spits out an estimated uplift in a property's value from a variety of home improvements – and flags any potential profit.

Installing a new boiler, improving energy efficiency and implementing home security measures emerge as the most profitable jobs for the average UK home, while bigger jobs – including new floors, kitchens or bathrooms – are not likely to yield a profit for most UK homes-owners.

Bigger ticket lifestyle add-ons look like pretty poor investments for nearly all properties, according to Pryor and GoCompare: the averagely-priced swimming pool, tennis court, home cinema or wine cellar are all likely to cost more to install than the value they will add to a £1m home. Fitting solar panels is likely to actually reduce the value of any property by 2%, says the team.

Research by GoCompare Home Insurance recently found that 26% of home improvements are undertaken 'specifically to add value to a property'. Most popular renovations include: interior redecoration (53%), fitting a new kitchen (42%), replacing flooring (38%), installing a new bathroom (36%), a garden makeover (36%), installing new double glazing (29%), installing new central heating or boiler (28%). Other works undertaken were: improving insulation (16%), knocking through rooms to create an open-plan space (16%), fitting solar panels (9%) and adding a conservatory (8%).

Henry Pryor: 'It's essential that you think carefully why you are spending extra money and who will benefit. My advice is usually spend money on the things that you want and leave other improvements to the next person who may not share your taste.'

'Most buyers prefer to pay for the opportunity to be able to add an attic conversion, kitchen extension or convert a basement. Getting planning permission to do the work is frequently the best investment you can make leaving the actual choice of layout, decoration and equipment to the next owner'

Source: Prime Resi August 2018