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  • Dino Labbate

Move? Or Improve?

Why aren’t we moving anymore?

According to a new report published by Queen’s University Belfast ( today, people are much less likely to move home compared to the 1970’s, with a 10% decrease in the 2000s.

Whilst there could be many reasons for this, we at Swish have noticed a major increase in homeowners wanting to extend and improve their homes rather than move to larger homes. Rising house prices have often meant that affordable, larger houses just aren’t as readily available as they once were.

The expense of getting onto the property ladder, also means that first time buyers may tend to wait, whether renting or staying at home longer, until they can afford to buy a home with all of the future proof specifications that they may have. For example, a young couple now may be less likely to buy a smaller home in a less desirable area just to “get a foot on the ladder” and will be looking at requirements they may not have considered previously, such as schools, transport links, communities and space for the family to grow comfortably.

For those who already own their own home, the cost of extending is also generally cheaper than moving. There are various reports on the cost of moving but the total would depend on the property you are moving to and from.

However, whatever the cost, all of this money could be utilised to pay a good proportion of the cost of your extension. A good way of comparing the cost of extending to moving is to add the cost of the proposed works to the existing property value and see if you can buy the space ready built cheaper.

For example, if you live in a 3 bedroom house worth £280,000 and there is a nearby 4 bedroom house for sale at £350,00, then the cost of moving would be £70,000 plus, perhaps, £15,000 moving cost - i.e. a total of £85,000.

If you compare this to the cost of extending which may be, for example, £50,000, then you are saving £35,000 if you extend rather than move.

By extending your home, you are also in control of the design (within planning limits) from the very beginning. If you want more room in the bathroom and less in the bedroom or you want to make the whole building bigger, then you can decide how that can be best achieved for your specific needs. When moving, very rarely do you find the layout and finishes exactly as you would like them and often this leads to further alteration costs once you have moved.

With extending, as well as deciding on the overall size and shape of the rooms, you also get to choose the finishes such as kitchen units and flooring from the start.

Extending can often lead to making more use of existing space by combining it with the extension. A small kitchen can be opened up to create a larger family space, with dining facilities and doors opening to a garden perhaps.

With so many first time buyers looking for their “forever home”, or home owners making the decision to save money and improve their current home, is it any wonder that the number of those moving have dropped so much?

If you’re looking to extend and improve your home, rather than face a difficult and expensive move, our team of talented designers at Swish Architecture are here to help. Give us a call today on 01158 822 777 and see what we can do for you.


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