Property news: Cheapest places to upsize home – how you could get the most for your money
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While moving into a larger house is a natural step for anyone on the housing ladder, the coronavirus pandemic has brought the need for space into sharp focus. More homeowners are looking for a bigger space than ever following the lockdown, as the restrictions left many feeling cooped up in tiny flats and houses. But upsizing your home comes at a cost – and with house prices continuing to rise, it pays to do your research first.
Despite the initial worries over the property market as the pandemic hit, experts have been amazed at how fast it has recovered.
House prices were up in July as the UK saw a mini housing boom following the easing of lockdown.
But sales are also soaring, due to pent-up demand as well as buyers looking to take advantage of the new stamp duty holiday announced by the government.
However, despite the rise in prices, there’s been a marked trend in homeowners seeking more space, with flats less popular than ever according to Rightmove.
For those looking to do the same, new research has revealed the best value locations to live if you want to upsize.
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The latest research from estate agent comparison site GetAgent has looked at where across England and Wales homebuyers can upsize, with the smallest increase in cost per square foot.
The company has looked at different property types and revealed the surprising value that can be found in certain areas.
The data shows that flats offer the worst value in terms of space, costing £346 per square foot across England and £177 in Wales.
The price difference is largely down to the location of flats, with city living always proving to be more pricey despite the smaller homes available.
It means that flat owners could be in a better position than they think if they want to find a bigger home.
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Those who own a flat may find they can even save money by moving into a terraced home in certain areas.
Newham in London is home to the most impressive savings, with a terraced property averaging £468 per square foot – that’s £95 cheaper than the average of £563 per square foot for a flat.
Manchester (-£51), Ribble Valley (-£41) the Isle of Anglesey (-£39) and Salford (-£38) also offer some of the biggest property price savings per square foot for those upsizing from a flat to a terraced house.
For those already in a terrace however, the next step might be to a semi-detached home – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to make the move.
The researchers found that while homebuyers will pay more on average for the upgrade, in Norwich the difference is just £14 per square foot between the two property prices.
County Durham, Cannock Chase, Ceredigion and Bolsover are also among some of the best value areas for a semi, at just £16 per square foot.
Meanwhile in London, buyers can get more for their money by upgrading from a semi-detached home to a detached house.
Making that final move up the property ladder can provide better value per square foot for some homebuyers across England and Wales.
In Kensington and Chelsea, the average cost per square foot is £2,926 for a detached home, which is £1,172 cheaper than the average of £4,098 for a semi-detached house in the same borough.
Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are also more affordable for a detached home in comparison to a semi-detached property.
Founder and CEO of GetAgent Colby Short, commented: “Many homebuyers are now prioritising space as a result of the recent lockdown, with this trend also causing many to consider upsizing in anticipation of such an event recurring.
“Of course, the likelihood is that a bigger home is going to command a higher price, even when the value per square foot may be lower.
“However, it’s interesting to see that many areas actually offer great value and also a lower price per square foot when upsizing across each property type.
“The current stamp duty holiday coupled with the ongoing low cost of borrowing means that now is as good a time as ever to embark on an upsizing purchase, increasing your property potential at the lowest price possible while gaining more space at the same time.”
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