There are many reasons for giving your kitchen a makeover. It can provide a larger and more user-friendly space for all your activities in there, it can replace ageing and worn-out décor, flooring and fixtures with sparkling new ones, it can help give your home a stylish new look and it can boost your property’s value.
Right now, the last of these factors might not be the most common reason householders are enlisting kitchen fitters in Herfordshire, or indeed anywhere else. After all, UK house prices have been surging in the last year, with the latest data, from Rightmove, showing that last month saw the typical house price in Britain top the £350,000 level for the first time ever.
This is the latest in a series of surveys showing prices soaring. For example, the Land Registry’s figures for February, published this month, showed a lower average price at £276,000 – albeit based on different calculating methods to Rightmove – but this still represented a 10.9 per cent annual increase.
All this might leave some wondering why on earth house values would be a concern when prices are going up so far and fast.
The reason lies in the facts of economic gravity. Many commentators have said the current boom simply cannot last. With the cost of living squeezing the budgets of would-be buyers and rising interest rates making mortgages more expensive, the expectation is that the current hot market will, at the very least, lose a lot of momentum over the course of 2022.
Among those looking at the market this way was Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data. He said: “There are headwinds that seem likely to remove the current market froth in the second half of the year,” suggesting anticipated further base rate increases “are also likely to affect buyer affordability and market sentiment”.
The question is whether the UK is headed for a large housing market ‘correction’ or a small one. Those who remember the 2008-09 financial crisis will remember how boom turned to bust and prices tumbled, taking years to recover. Unless global events like the war in Ukraine have a drastic effect, a major economic crisis is unlikely.
Instead, experts anticipate more modest growth. Tim Bannister’s view on this matter is echoed by Tim Hyatt, the head of residential at estate agency Knight Frank.
He predicted that “spring could mark the return of more recognisable and predictable conditions in the UK housing market,” noting that many of the pandemic-related factors driving sales, such as the flight from cities to the country, are dissipating.
That could impact on rural locations in southern counties near London like Hertfordshire, as well as farther afield. However, it also means that across the property market, any expectations that your home might see further large jumps in value must be tempered – unless you take action to improve it.
A new kitchen is widely agreed to be a great way to do this, though it is not the only way to add value. How much will, of course, depend on the extent of the work you have carried out, but the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors puts the average value gain at four per cent.
So, while the housing market may stop adding so much value to your home soon, a revamped kitchen will surely keep it soaring.