A new survey has found that British homeowners are keen to improve their properties before they sell ? and discovered that first-time buyers are keener than ever to get up the housing ladder

Boosting the value of a property by home improvement is an increasingly popular pastime for UK homeowners, with redecorating, gardening and putting in new bathrooms all popular ways of upping the price of a house.

One in four homeowners have carried out improvements in the past year, according to Halifax’s latest research, with over half doing so in the belief that they will add over £5,000 to their property.

The survey also identified a new class of keen home improvers: First-time buyers, who are keen to move up the property ladder. Halifax found that one in six cited resale potential as a major reason for doing work on their house ? a massive increase from just 2% last year.

Kitchens and bathrooms add the most value to a house, as most homeowners are aware, and the report concurs, stating that any changes which add space to a house increase its worth most of all.

The top five improvements most likely to add to the value of a house, according to the experts at Halifax are:

1. An extension

2. A loft conversaion

3. A new kitchen

4. Conservatory

5. Central heating

Patrick Sawdon of Halifax Valuers said: ‘Our research shows that Britain has become a nation of movers and improvers. It’s great to see that so many people are investing time and effort in improving their home. A word of caution though: poorly executed home improvements can actually detract from the value of your property. If you’re considering embarking on major work, do consult the professionals and seek any necessary planning permission before getting started.’