A big reason to improve

The recent housing price slump has lead to a growing number of homeowners becoming stuck in their property due to negative equity.

While this is not a problem for some, others need more space or feel the need for a nicer place.

And recent research by Lloyds TSB found that UK homeowners are opting to improve their homes rather than sell them as a result.

The research found that over half (55 per cent) of estate agents had reported that homeowners are taking their properties off the market in favour of making home improvements like adding a conservatory or glazed extension.

Lloyds TSB director of personal loans David Wishart said the bank had noted the switch in the trend.

"In recent months we have seen a significant increase in home improvement personal loan requests," he said.

"For the last decade homeowners have been able to sit back and rely on rising property prices to increase the equity in their home but sadly this is no longer possible.

"If you want to trade up and avoid substantially increasing your mortgage, youll need to add value to the house youre currently in.