House prices are looking stronger than at any time in the last 18 years and houses with a study or office space, gardens, storage and garage space are in the greatest demand.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said recently through its house price index – the number of estate agents seeing prices rising versus falling or level – shot up unexpectedly to +61 from +44 in August.

Rics said that was the highest reading since June 2002. A Reuters poll of economists had expected a reading of just +40. Rics said house price growth has continued to accelerate in all regions, except for more modest rises in London, with its survey of estate agents recording sales increases across the UK.

However, there’s no guarantee that prices will continue to hold up, especially if there’s something of a recession coming after Covid and the government fails to extend the stamp duty deadline on the 31st of March.

The need for space

What we do know for sure is that people will want more space, more breathing space, in their homes in the future as homeworking in one form or another – more than likely two or three days a week for those who can work from home – becomes the norm.

One of the secrets of success in any business, and letting property is no different, is being aware of your customers’ needs and satisfying them. If people need more space to work and relax at home then there are things you can do to achieve that.

Making the most of existing space can not only drastically add to the value of a property, it can increase the desirability of a rental property no end. One additional bedroom can increase the value of a residential property in England by as much as 20% according to experts, or £51,200 considering the average house price in England (£256,000)

Recent research carried out by self-storage company, Space Station, found there are several ways in which landlords as well as homeowners can increase the value of their properties. This can often be achieved without the expense of an extension, which may need planning approval, and instead simply making the most of the space that already exists in a property.

Creating an open plan living area, installing an additional bathroom, or adding another bedroom or office can all be accomplished for a lot less than the cost of an extension, and in many cases, this does not require planning permission.

Here are five ways that Space Station suggestyou can maximise existing space to increase property value:

1. Converting a room into a bedroom or office can add value and appeal depending on the potential user. In some cases extra bedrooms can add 20% to the value of an average home, while private office / study space will increase desirability for anyone wishing to work from home. As a compromise, consider making a room dual purpose, allowing it to serve as both a guest bedroom and a home office.

2. Loft space can be converted to living space, a bedroom or office, but limiting factors such as stairway access and floor support must be overcome. A more expensive solution is to invest in a full loft conversion. This is an option where rooms are scarce or to increase the number of bedrooms whilst keeping your office space downstairs.

As lofts are generally used for storage, some homeowners may be left with a temporary shortage of space for these items. This can easily be solved however by temporarily renting storage whilst the work is undertaken. Long term, you can find inventive and creative ways to create storage as part of the loft conversion, by installing storage units in the dead space.

You will need to make sure that if you’re intending to advertise your rental with a loft conversion as another bedroom that it’s up to current building regulation standards; it needs to be of a certain size and have a door with safe stair access – consult your local building control.

3. Creating an open-plan living area which can add 15% to the value of a house. Open plan living areas are desirable and they are a great way to make a modern living area and kitchen feel bigger than they would as separate rooms.

Knocking down interior walls could be a DIY job, but it’s important that to establish whether the wall is load bearing or just a partition wall. If it’s load bearing then you will need to ask building control and seek help from a builder unless you have building skills.

4. Installing additional toilets or bathrooms can add 5% to the value of a house. A spare storage room or under-stairs cupboard could be converted into an additional toilet, and you can even add an extra bathroom or on suites to bedrooms in a property, if you have the room.

People desire more bathrooms these days, so this is especially worthwhile for homes with a limited number of existing bathrooms. However, you should aware that losing a bedroom in the process will reduce value. Creating a small en-suite, if there is a large enough bedroom, is ideal.

5. Storage space is always desirable, so creative storage solutions out of spare bits of space can add up to a 5% increase in value. Making the most out of nooks and crannies in your home can really make features stand out, as well as adding value.

Converting under-stairs cupboards or alcoves into storage areas helps to make living areas more practical, as well as adding value by making your home look more unique and functional suggests Space Station.

Value added to a home by extra storage space is difficult to pin down and varies hugely depending on the storage in question, but working from home usually entails a greater need for more storage.

Storage is very appealing to renters and well as buyers, so even if it does not significantly increase the overall value, it will help to make a property more desirable.

Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, said:

“Adding value to a property is something that can be easily done by any homeowner (or landlord), and whatever the size of their budget.”

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