Demand for tradespeople set to soar as a third of homeowners choose to “improve not move”


Soaring mortgage rates are a hot topic across the nation at the moment, as economic uncertainty and rising interest rates rear their ugly heads. It’s perhaps unsurprising then, that a recent survey we did showed that a third of UK homeowners are choosing to delay any house move - instead choosing to improve the home they already have.

It’s not a bad idea - renovating, extending, or even just sprucing up your property only adds to its value, as well as creating a nicer space for you to live in.

There’s just one issue though - homeowners in Britain are likely to face long delays when booking plumbers, electricians, builders, and other tradespeople - as an increasing amount of demand is created by those staying put.

Our research found that a third (33 percent) of UK homeowners are delaying moving house due to rising mortgage rates - instead choosing to extend, renovate, or generally improve their existing home.

While this is positive news for tradespeople and local builders across the UK, it is likely to cause a spike in demand that will see customers booking months in advance to secure their preferred provider. The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 already shows a concerning shortage in tradespeople - so any rise in demand will only exacerbate the imbalance in supply and demand.

The data we compiled came from a larger study looking at UK homeowner habits in light of the rise in cost of living and spiralling mortgage rates. The data suggests that the younger demographic - homeowners aged 18-34 - are the most likely to choose to improve, not move, with a staggering 35 percent stating the mortgage rates and cost of living crisis is stopping them moving home. 


Regionally, those agreeing that the situation has made them more likely to improve their current home shows Cardiff top at 45 percent, Manchester 38 percent, both Bristol and Belfast 34 percent, London 35 percent, Birmingham 31 percent, Edinburgh 26 percent, with Leeds lowest at 17 percent.  

Andy Simms, one of our experts, said that homeowners must move fast if they want to secure a tradesperson for a job.

“For some time, local builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and other tradespeople have been in high demand, and this new research suggests that the demand for tradespeople in the UK could now outstrip supply even more. It’s already not uncommon to hear of waiting lists of a year or more for certain builders, for example, and our data shows the situation is likely to get even worse"

“We’d advise any homeowners considering home improvements to book well in advance to secure their preferred tradesperson. We’re anticipating a larger than ever influx of jobs in early 2024, so don’t delay.”

For those wanting to know the costs of extending your home, see our home extension price guide. 


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