Millennial Londoners lead home improvement charge

The number of planning permissions for home improvements in the capital is steadily rising, with Londoners choosing to hold onto their homes

(Image credit: Getty/Prisma by Dukas)

Living in London is often associated with a hectic lifestyle involving renting and frequent moving, but recent research by Hiscox has found that Londoners who own their own homes are holding on to their properties more than they did five years ago, choosing to improve rather than move (we approve). 

You don't have to look too far to find out why: we've seen plenty of evidence pointing towards the UK's looming Brexit as the primary reason people are choosing to play it safe and stay put. However, what is interesting is that this trend to improve rather than move is especially prevalent among homeowners who fall into the millennial category age-wise. Usually regarded as more adventurous, less cautious and most definitely upwardly mobile, one in four homeowners in this age bracket is choosing to stay put and do work on their properties. 

So, while the overall increase in home improvers has been fairly small, up to 15 per cent from 12 per cent five years ago, a much more substantial proportion of young Britons are choosing to put down roots, rather than constantly looking for a new project to switch up to. All of which leads us to wonder whether Millennials as a whole consider their properties as a home to stay in, rather than as a simple, exchangeable property investment (we're looking at you, Generation X)? 

Housing experts have identified the London borough with the highest number of people choosing to love the one they've got as Croydon, in south London, where 3,865 live or completed approved planning permissions have gone through since 2006. Given Croydon's close-knit vibe, the talk of massive regeneration and the potential of a Croydon Westfield shopping centre (the latter currently under review thanks to Brexit), it's easy to see why people are choosing to stay there.

Croydon is closely followed by Westminster, which has had 3,674 approved planning permissions. London's richest borough, Westminster has some seriously gorgeous housing that the borough's lucky residents tend to hold on to. 

And while not all home improvements are necessarily a boon for London (excessive basement excavations perhaps one of them), it is encouraging to see a change of heart among younger Londoners about the primary purpose of owning a home. 

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