The cost of home improvements has shot up by a fifth in two years because of rising costs of raw materials and transport and a growing shortage of tradesmen.

The report, carried out by the RICS, highlights the growing expense of building works just as house price uncertainty means more people are choosing to improve their homes rather than move.

With widespread rises in the price of essentials such as food and fuel, these extra home expenses will add to the burden of cost for the homeowner.

The report comes as lenders such as Nationwide tighten their mortgage criteria on the funding of partly built properties and residential conversions.

The average cost of improvement work has risen by 20% over two years, according to figures today from the RICS Building Cost Information Service, owing to a combination of inflationary pressures.

Financial Times