How to Add Value to Your Property When the Housing Market is Flat

Despite estate agents, the government and construction companies "talking up" the housing market, anyone who has tried to sell a home outside of London in the last 3 or 4 years knows the market is flat. Of course, Covid-19 has only made things more difficult with all the uncertainty it's brought with it. Many London commuters are now working from home, and realising they don't need to be SO close to the capital as they once thought.

House prices have either fallen or remained stagnant (depending on the area you live in). London house prices skew the averages and creates a false impression things aren't as bad as they really are. The Help to Buy scheme being launched by the government (for first time buyers) nearly 7 years ago now was a surefire sign things weren't going well back then...and despite record low interest rates and a stamp duty relief until April this year, volume remains relatively low.

What if you want to sell your home to buy a bigger home? That's what the property ladder is all about isn't it? Young couples tend to buy a small home, then with an increase in their house price, trade it in for a bigger home a few years later with perhaps a very small mortgage to pay for any shortfall or even not have to take out any loan if they move to an area with lower house prices. However, sellers now realise they're not going to make a profit on their home in the current market, so how can you climb up the property ladder? You add value to your home. Home improvements are a great investment. For example, 20,000GBP of home improvements might yield a 30,000GBP-35,000GBP increase in your home's value. When it comes to such projects, don't skimp on materials. Use only the most durable, high quality materials you can find. Take flooring as an example - materials like solid oak flooring or engineered oak flooring will please any house surveyor.

Finally, advice to first time buyers: it may be wise to seek a property that is a little too big for your current needs. As counterintuitive as it might sound, it can save you trying to claw up the property ladder in such a flat housing market. It may mean compromising a lot more on where you want to live, however. On the plus-side, Covid-19 has (at least!) now finally made working from home a viable option - which in turn may well free up your choices on where to live.

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