South East is top region for home renovations
The findings follow views from the industry that home renovations are responsible for the boom in second charge lending.
Data from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) published this week showed that second charge lending grew for the fourth consecutive month in June and by 36% over the second quarter of 2017.
And brokers in the market have noted that the shortage of properties available to buy is leading homeowners to take out second charge mortgages to develop their existing properties.
The five areas which saw the biggest increases in planning applications in the past two years are all based within commuting distance from London with Barking and Dagenham taking the top spot with 114% hike in applications.
Luton shows the second highest increase of 59%, with Milton Keynes in third with a 54% increase, and Wokingham taking the fourth spot with a 42% increase in planning applications.
Hull was the only area in the north of England to make the top ten at number seven with a 40% increase since 2015.
At the other end of the scale the majority of areas with a decrease in renovation applications came from northern and midlands areas, despite the top two locations being London based (Islington at 28% and Tower Hamlets at 18%). Hartlepool, near Newcastle, was third (15%), followed by Bracknell Forest (14%), and Stoke-on-Trent (14%).
Stephen Jury, spokesman for Plentific, said: “We’ve seen a large increase in demand for bigger renovation projects in many areas over the last two years. With house prices seeing substantial rise in recent times, the logical option for many homeowners is to stay and improve, rather than move. For others, moving up the ladder might not be an option due to price, so they must instead think about expanding their current home.
“The fact is, many homeowners now look at a large garden, garage, or loft as an opportunity to renovate, with the majority thinking of it as an investment in the future value of a property. Plus, with the boom in property prices, there are also plenty of property developers looking at opportunities from making profit from renovations.”