To move or improve? No longer a tough question

There was once a time when homeowners faced a difficult choice when looking for extra floor-space in the home; they could either improve their current property or sell up and move to a larger one.

Nowadays the choice is not as tough as the stagnant housing market means they would struggle to sell their home.

Shadow chancellor Vince Cable has even predicted that the situation will get worse rather than better in the UK – a prediction that could lead to homeowners choosing to improve their current property.

"Prices have now fallen nearly 20 per cent from their peak and may well have just as far to fall again," the Liberal Democrat said.

"Although ministers are talking the talk on mortgage equity and repossessions, in practice the ideas are not being followed through.

"The government should take advantage of the slump in land prices to get housing associations and councils commissioning new social housing, which would stop big building firms from going under."

Mr Cable was talking in response to Nationwides announcement that prices had fallen by 15.9 per cent in 2008.

Weather experts are predicting a hot summer for the UK which may encourage homeowners to shelve any plans of moving and to consider building a conservatory to help them enjoy the weather.

Australia is currently getting a taste of a hot summer, with temperatures in Perth breaching the 32 C mark for the last ten consecutive days.