UK improving, not moving

New figures have suggested that the UK is becoming a nation of home improvers.

An estimated 425,000 loans were taken out for home improvements such as conservatories, kitchen extensions and roof lights in 2008, according to research from Sainsburys Bank.

Around £4 billion was borrowed last year with a view to improving current properties as the housing market descended into chaos.

The figures represent a 53 per cent rise in the number of loans compared to 2007 and Sainsburys head of loans Stephen Baillie explained that the increase was unsurprising in spite of the credit crunch.

"It is well-documented that the housing market struggled last year, and our figures might suggest that people have decided to stay put and make the most of their existing homes," he said.

"It may also suggest however that theyre trying to add value to their current homes in order to get a better price for them when the property market recovers."

The recent snowy weather has turned conservatory views into picture-postcard vistas.