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What does Brexit mean for home extensions in London?

21 April 2017
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Eugene Kim

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home extensions in London

Could Brexit effects home extensions in London?

Economic uncertainty over the EU referendum decision reached in June last year hasn’t helped a host of pre-existing factors, like the sluggish rate of pay-rises in relation to inflation, that have slowed the predicted rate of increase in property value to the lowest level in four years (4.4% projected this year, to be exact, and 4.1% in 2018) according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research think-tank.

One specific issue that’s arisen has been the increase in stamp duty of at least 3% on additional residential properties above £40,000 (another contributing factor to the stalled rate) that’s making the decision to change properties, or acquire another, all the more difficult. But there are a lot of available solutions for adding both value and space to your existing property at the same time.

Extension Architecture

Adding an extension to your property can provide a solution to many problems that you may have thought that only buying a new property could remedy.

The current housing shortage, outlined in the government’s recent white paper on housing which states that 40% of planning authorities have no idea how they’ll meet local housing demands over the next decade, coupled with London’s remarkably low vacancy rate of 4% means that the rental market is going to remain strong no matter what. Instead of going through the trauma of dealing with the increases in stamp duty on second homes, that was introduced in April last year, adding extra living space to your current home can be an incredibly cost-effective way of making sure you’re getting the most out of your current property.

It’s not all good news though. A, potentially, weaker sterling may increase the prospect of foreign investment and commercial refurbishment but it also drives up the cost of UK construction as up to 60% of the raw material for the UK construction industry comes from Europe and the government’s headline-grabbing negotiating style (some people were recently convinced that the UK was going to war with Spain) could make the situation even worse. It’s vital, therefore, to make sure that you’re working with a planner who knows how to keep building costs in line.

home planning extensions

“Having a clear plan can not only put your mind at ease it can make the entire process run far more easily.”

Everybody wants the best deal but a lot of the so-called “cheap” conversion and extension architects will not be upfront with you about the full scope of costs, to put it bluntly. Having a clear plan can not only put your mind at ease it can make the entire process run far more easily. At Extension Architecture we specialise in planning that gets you precisely what you want in the smoothest way possible. Unlike a great many architects, who will focus almost entirely on the creative side and learn about the ever-changing world of planning permission rules at your expense, we handle 30 planning permission cases per month with a 95% success rate. We’ve built tremendous relationships with councils in London to best understand what they want out of an application before it’s filed, rather than learning what they will or won’t accept by trial and error.

So, at either rate, planning is still the most important stage in extending a property; for both householders and developers. Speaking to a planning expert like Extension Architecture can be far more beneficial than going straight through a residential architect; and this isn’t just in terms of gaining permissions from councils. Extension Architecture works with you through every stage, from planning applications and permitted development to topographical surveys and interior design, creating a tender for your building stage. This ensures that builders won’t be surprising you with hidden, or extra, costs inferred from mistakes or oversight. This specificity on valuations isn’t just important for peace of mind though, it can be essential to ensuring that your project is finished at all. It’s quite likely that Brexit will reduce the amount of jobs going to tender, therefore reducing available work for contractors and, ultimately, their level of liquidity. This will increase the risk of contractors going under so working with a company who know not just the ins and outs but the reliability of the people conducting your build is paramount.

Case Study Basement Extension in Islington

Case Study Basement Extension in Islington

For example, when restoring a vacant shop and converting it into a self-contained apartment in for a client in Islington, Extension Architecture was able to handle all of the client’s needs effectively from the Change of Use from a professional services to a residential flat. Swiftly moving through planning permission with Hackney Council, by understanding and respecting their wishes, to planning and implementing a single storey rear extension at a basement level and alterations to the front elevation; including every aspect that this entails, such as excavation and waterproofing, into the tender.

If you’re thinking about extending your home, our planning application services for a single storey extension start from £900, building regulation from £1100, and a full site measurement and photographic survey by one of our teams of experts can be carried out from as little as £350.

To request a free quote, submit your details on our simple online form here. Alternatively, give us a call on 0203 409 4215 to speak to someone in our offices and to find out exactly what we can do for you.

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Eugene Kim

Eugene Kim, Founder and Managing Director of Extension Architecture, has led the firm for over 14 years, consistently delivering quality solutions. His dedication has been key to the company's growth and success.

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