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Life in the country: Covid’s impact on country homes and renovation growth

The impact COVID-19 had on our daily lives and activities, set in motion a period of re-evaluation, not just how we live, but where. Whether it was a result of working from home, home schooling or simply just having more free time with limited movement, it prompted a £110 billion spend on home improvements in the UK, an increase of nearly 30% year-on-year.1

Rise of home renovations

If you invested in improved interior design, new home furnishings or you joined over a million Brits who built home-gyms and extensions1, it’s important to ensure your prestige home insurance policy is updated to reflect your developments, to avoid the risk of underinsurance. 

If you’re planning a home renovation, but not yet started, it’s crucial to check if your project is covered under your home insurance policy. Whilst garden updates topped the list for the most popular lockdown renovation projects in the UK2, you might have your sights on a more ambitious project. Whether it’s a home spa, complete with indoor pool and treatment room; a walk-in, climate controlled wine cellar to display your collection; or perhaps a luxury summer house fully equipped for outdoor entertaining, you may need a renovation insurance policy. This can help protect your prestige home throughout the building works and against increased risks associated with a renovation, such as damage, fire or theft.  

Demand for country homes

Despite almost two-thirds of homeowners investing in renovations during the pandemic2, some decided to make bigger changes and move to a new home instead, with demand for UK property up 27.5% year to date.1 This rise in demand carried through to the prestige country home market, with an increased 85% of exchanges between £5 million and £10 million homes outside of London, more than any other price bracket.3 The craving for more space, and lifestyle changes, due to increased flexible working also drove rural house prices to rise twice as fast compared to in cities4, and are set to increase by at least 20% by the end of 2025.5

If you’ve decided to make the move to leave city life for an idyllic country retreat, or you’re just wanting to upgrade, you’ll want to make sure your new home is adequately protected. You may find your new country abode comes with additional assets, such as stables, a swimming pool or tennis court – with Marsh Private Clients, prestige home insurance experts, we can help make sure your high value home insurance policy covers everything you need, including your art collections, jewellery and prestige cars.

To speak to one of our high net worth insurance specialists about your prestige home or renovation insurance needs call 0333 305 3743.

 

Sources:

1. uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/property-coronavirus-housing-market-boom-home-improvements-stamp-duty-holiday-rishi-sunak-160026078.html
2. money.co.uk/guides/renovation-nation
3. propertyreporter.co.uk/property/escaping-to-the-country-fuels-record-price-growth-in-prime-regional-marke.html
4. theguardian.com/society/2021/jun/20/rural-house-prices-in-england-and-wales-rise-twice-as-fast-as-in-cities
5.countrylife.co.uk/property/how-the-exodus-to-the-country-will-shift-house-prices-in-britain-in-the-next-five-years-223755
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