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Many UK homeowners traditionally plan to do major DIY projects to their properties during the extended Easter break, in a bid to improve living conditions and also in the hope of increasing the perceived value of their homes.

However, a new survey from HSBC claims that DIY improvements are not worth it anymore as DIY projects were adding less value to a property than they were a year ago.

According to HSBC’s valuation experts, a loft conversion is the safest investment, typically increasing the value of a residential property by £16,152, although the gain is 23% down on 2011.

An extension could add £15,665 (3% down), while a new kitchen may boost the value of a home by £4,577 (19% down).

The only major home improvement work to increase the relative return-on-investment in the past year is a new conservatory, putting on an average £9,420 in value to the property, up 14% on 2011 figures.

The survey also highlights that regional variations need to be considered when tackling home improvements.

For example, a residential property fitted with a new kitchen in London should increase the property’s value by an average of £9,125 (GBP), compared with £4,300 (GBP) in North-East England and £2,333 (GBP) in Scotland.

Paul Cutbill, Valuation’s expert at Countrywide Surveying Services, says: “Whilst sensibly improved and well presented homes will generally be attractive to potential purchasers, rising labour and material costs mean that the gap between the cost of improving and monies realised at the point of any sale has been reduced. Poor quality work and a lack of proper design, usually resulting from inadequate project budgeting and planning, can have a significant negative knock on effect to any added property value”.

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