Home improvements in the East of England on the rise

A report released by construction industry analyst firm Barbour ABI has indicated that the East of England is seeing a boom in home improvements with increases in planning permission applications.

The Home Improvers of Great Britain 2017 report shows that 2.7 homes out of every 100 in the East of England had applications submitted for home improvements, ranking this area third after London and the South East. Extensions proved to be the most popular home improvement option. The total number of planning applications or the East of England was 58,500, an increase of 5.6% compared to the previous year.

The most notable climber is the city of Cambridge which has moved into the number 2 spot after Westminster and has seen 5.6 planning permission applications per 100 households. Just two years ago Cambridge was ranked around number 70. This may be due to higher house prices in the area, according to the report.

Michael Dall, the lead economist from Barbour ABI has stated that the East of England remains a stronghold for home improvements and the rise in applications in this area is double compared to the average across the country. However, he does point out that the rise may have reached its peak with just over half the local authorities in the East registering an increase in applications compared with 80% in the previous three years.

According to the report, home improvement tends to increase in places where it is more difficult to get planning permission for a new build home. This is also linked to wealth with higher income areas less likely to see new developments and subsequently higher rates of home improvement. When it comes to age, home improvements are more likely to be carried out by those aged over 50 and families are also likely to spend more on their homes.