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The demand for home improvements is up 16% this Christmas, according to a report from kitchen and furniture company The Wood Works. The demand comes from the desire of households to spruce up their kitchens, bathrooms and undergo extensions in time for hosting family and friends around the holidays. Whether it is trying to put on a better show for entertaining, creating extra space for guests or having family and friends stay over during the holidays.

The study also showed that Christmas was used as a deadline by many homes to place an order and start work in the new year. Interesting, the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed a 5% increase in mortgages transacted during December last year and a 9% increase for first-time buyers who try to 'seal the deal' before Christmas.

Joshua Delane, Director at The Wood Works, explained the popularity of finalising a mortgage in December causes a surge in demand as people want to fix up the odd room. In addition, the turbulent housing market has caused another large demographic to stay put rather than move home, leading households to build on their existing homes or renovate to a higher standard.

Adding home improvements is a viable way to add value to your property, whether you plan to resell it at a higher price later on or rent it out to tenants at a premium rate. A loft conversion can potentially increase your property's value by 20% if you are adding two new rooms and a bathroom. In 2017, there was a noticeable trend for conversions used for home-offices - catering to the stay at home mums and dads.

At the lower end of the market, a new kitchen can add around 5% to the value of the property, provided that it includes new furniture and appliances such as a sink, oven, fridge and stove. However, a common error of homeowners is to overspend on their kitchen. It is important to calculate the average house value in the road and try find a 'sweet spot' when it comes to the cost of your renovation. For instance, spending £50,000 on a new kitchen that will only increase your home's value by a maximum of £20,000 is not commercially viable.

Elsewhere, 2017 has seen a greater interest in garden sheds which include ventilation, electricals and heating, commonly used as a makeshift office or guest bedroom.