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Should I List It or Love It? UK Renovation Study Reveals Top Factors for House Price Gains

Boilers and Bathrooms Revealed as Renovations with the Biggest Reward

  • Home improvement study finds Lofts and Kitchens add the most value to a home, but for the highest price.
  • London boasts a higher percentage of open-plan and refurbished properties, while lofts are most popular in Bristol.  
  • Additional bedrooms in the home can almost double property value in Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle.  

In an often unpredictable housing market, a reported 15% of homeowners are opting to improve their property as opposed to upping sticks. As well as creating nicer surroundings, refurbishing different areas of a home can add significant value, but what is the true return on investment?

Self-storage experts Safestore have taken a look at the landscape of homeownership to find the most popular areas of the home people improve, and the number of homes in the UK that offer these amenities.

Areas of the Home

The study to find a return-on-investment compares the estimated value increase a renovation can provide with the typical cost someone is expected to pay for the type of improvement.

  • With an average cost of £1300, new boilers/heating systems can boost your home’s value by almost 2% and have the biggest return on investment in our study.
  • Refurbished kitchens and lofts can bolster a home’s value by over 8% but their respective level of investment places them slightly lower.
  • A renovated garage or storage area can set you back up to£7,000 but offer less than 1% of a home value increase in return, which ranks only above solar panels in terms of ROI (0.5%).

Popular Renovations by City

The study goes into more depth to find how popular these different home features are in different parts of the UK based on property listing sites.

  • Open Plan & Refurbished – These renovations often give homeowners the feeling of more space in their home, so it makes sense to see that 44% of listed London properties are open plan, and 16% are described as refurbished.
  • Loft – In terms of renovating, lofts are often on the pricier side, but 37% of Bristol homes see their value, as well as just under a third of homes in both Birmingham and Cardiff.
  • Extension – Of all the cities in our research, Edinburgh (17%) and Leeds (14%) boast the highest proportion of extensions listed, with a UK average of 11%.
  • Smart Tech and Solar – Making more environmental domestic decisions is extremely on trend for homeowners. Smart tech is found as being most popular in Leeds (3%), while the previous government led initiatives have meant that solar panels are most rife in Glasgow (5%).
  • Wet Room – A surprising discovery from the research is the popularity of Wet Rooms, which are advertised in around 5%of homes in Leeds and Cardiff.

Room for One More?

If you own a property that has the potential to hold an additional bedroom, then it might be of financial interest to renovate. We looked at the average value of 1-4 bedroom homes in 9 major UK cities to find the true value in upgrading:

  • Northern Renovation – While their property values average a lot lower than many other UK cities, homes Newcastle and Leeds add 50% to the value of their home with every bedroom added, according to the prices shown on Zoopla.
  • Wales & Scotland – Outside of the top two, Cardiff and Glasgow offer the highest increase in property value per added bedroom, adding over £65,000 to the average listing.
  • London Calling – In the nation’s capital, the value of a one-bed is higher than 2 beds in any other part of the country, so it’s not surprising to learn that the price of a home increased by over £200,000 for an additional room.

You can find the full study here to see the breakdown of how each city and different areas of the home fare, as well as some trending home features in 2019.


Zoopla listings were used to determine price metrics and the features of the home by region. The remaining data was taken from existing surveys and studies.  

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