British homeowners spend £13,000 on added extras for their homes

New research has found that British homeowners are willing to spend an average of £13,000 on special features, such as outside seating areas and kitchen islands, to improve their properties.

The survey, commissioned by Origin, found that the most sought-after added extra among homeowners is an abundance of natural light, with 54% prioritising this. This is followed by storage (53%) and en-suite bathrooms (52%).

Homeowners are willing to invest in their properties, with 87% agreeing that they would pay more money for added extras. In fact, one in 10 say they would reduce all other household expenditure to be able to afford the upgrades that they want. A large garden (41%), a garage (39%), and a great view (39%) are the features Brits are most likely to pay more for.

This trend can also be seen among those purchasing new houses. When buying a new property, over three quarters of Brits agree that they would compromise on the overall size of the house, with a large garden, a garage and a great view all considered more essential than square footage.

Property consultant Alex Goldstein said: “The results prove that people are often willing to pay a premium for the features that really matter to them. Having worked in the property sector for nearly 20 years, it is no surprise to me that natural light and storage take the top spots. However, we are also seeing new and emerging trends, like en-suite bathrooms and outdoor spaces, becoming far more important.

“Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, people are spending even more time in their homes and they have had to become multi-purpose; suitable for work, rest and play. During lockdown, people have had time to consider what they really want and need; be it designated workspaces, more accommodation for the children, or a bigger garden.

“Once they have decided, they go the extra mile to get it, as they know they will get good use out of it and it will make the additional time spent in their home more enjoyable.”

The research shows that homeowners expect extra features to increase the value of a property, with a great view expected to add up to 10% and natural light and outdoor seating both considered worthy of an 8% increase.

Interestingly, the data shows that prospective buyers are also heavily influenced by the words used to describe the features in a property. For example, an ‘outdoor living room’ is considered more valuable than a ‘patio’, while Brits may be willing to spend more on a ‘lounge’ as opposed to ‘sitting room’.

Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin, said: “We conducted this research to get a clear picture of the work that homeowners want to do in order to improve their homes. This provides our partners with market insights that will help them further understand their customers and what homeowners want to achieve. With the trend for outdoor living continuing to rise, it came as no surprise to us that the features that are prioritised are those that link the inside of the home with the outside, including large gardens, outdoor seating areas and an abundance of natural light.”

British homeowners’ top 10 most desired features are:

  1. Natural light
  2. Storage
  3. En-suite bathroom
  4. Large garden
  5. Garage
  6. Outdoor seating area
  7. A great view
  8. A quality front door
  9. Walk-in wardrobe
  10. Kitchen island