People improving rather than moving

There is a trend for improving houses at the moment, with things like conservatories and loft conversions giving more space, it has been suggested.

Recent statistics from Nationwide show turning the attic into another room can add as much as 20 per cent to the value of a property.

Homebuilding and Renovating magazine editor Jason Orme said people are keener than ever to make their residence a better place to live.

"People have to expand their living accommodation in some ways," he said.

"Theyll either move or improve – and you dont need me to tell you that people are looking to improve in certain ways rather than move at the moment."

He added there has been a change of attitude among homeowners, with many looking to make the best of what they have.

DIY retail firm B&Q recently reported a year-on-year sales rise of 89.2 per cent, suggesting home improvement could be a growing obsession of the UK population.