Local Building Activity 'More Than Trebles' as Homeowners Look to Improve Current Properties

10 September 2018

According to research across a sample of five London Boroughs, construction activity in the home improvement and home extension category has increased by 250 per cent. Furthermore, the pipeline of work from those planning domestic renovations trebled over the last five years.

The research conducted by South East building services firm, Oakmore Builders has shown a strong increase in the number of permitted lawful developments over the last five years, buoyed by the government’s relaxation of planning rules.

The company used FOI requests to five London Boroughs to ascertain the growth in both the number of renovation jobs undertaken and the number of applications for forthcoming jobs.

The conclusions demonstrate a clear relationship between new, more relaxed planning rules and investment by existing homeowners. Furthermore, at a time when house prices have fallen in London the home improvement boom continues at a strong pace.

According to the new data, the average number of lawful development certificates granted by the local authorities has grown by 250.48 per cent.

The research into the sample Boroughs revealed strong increases in Bromley from zero certifications in 2013 to 485 last year, while Bexley and Lewisham saw their figures more than double over the last five years.

Since 2015, Bromley saw a 1,765.38 per cent rise in lawful development certificates being granted, which has helped drive the positive findings.

Lee Summers, founder and CEO of Oakmore Builders, said: “These findings are consistent with the changes implemented through the policy paper, with strong increases in people deciding to use the relaxed rules to undertake significant home improvement and extension work.

“The move by the government was welcomed by property owners, who have responded to the removal of red tape, obtained relevant certificates and pushed ahead with meaningful improvements that have added value and functionality to their homes.

“It has also boosted the domestic construction sector in London and, given that there is a recent slowdown in the property market, presented homeowners with the choice to invest in improvements rather than moving elsewhere.”

Established in 2015, Oakmore Builders has grown to become a leading building company across South East London, specialising in home extension projects, luxury kitchens and bathrooms, and all major building services.