The current economic uncertainty will leave many people worrying about the value of their homes. Fortunately, if you live in the West Midlands you are more likely to have seen its value increase in the last year than anywhere else in Britain, with the latest Halifax House Price Index revealing a 3.1 per cent year-on-year rise in prices across the region.
However, it is risky to count on such a trend persisting and while many people will add house extensions in the West Midlands purely for practical reasons or just to enhance the living space, it is worth considering how much it may add to your property’s value.
This has been a live issue recently, following an article in the Daily Mail by the head of sales at Purple Bricks Vince Courtney, in which he said conservatories can knock up to £15,000 off a home’s value.
Taking particular aim at “dated” conservatories built at the peak of their popularity in the 2000s, featuring “cheap-looking white plastic or dark wood”, he also slated them for poor energy efficiency and a lack of space.
Among other criticisms, he said the current fashion is for open-plan layouts instead, a point that may resonate with some people keen to extend their home without adding more internal walls.
Not everyone agrees with Mr Courtney; the Daily Telegraph published an article that acknowledged the issues concerning some conservatories, but also quoted India Alexander, the head of appraisals at two estate agencies, as backing them to add value to old homes that might otherwise lack natural ventilation, due to having “low ceilings and dense materials”.
Of course, your own plans and needs may not involve a conservatory anyway. However, it is worth considering research about the impact different kinds of home improvement can have on property values.
According to a Property Price Advice article in 2021, a cellar conversion came out top, but others high up the list included converting a garage into living space, or the loft into a bedroom.
Curiously, the list did also advocate adding a conservatory, claiming it would add ten per cent to a home’s value. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all.