Planning applications have risen by a quarter in the last five years as prospective homebuyers are increasingly choosing to refurbish their own homes instead of moving.
This has been exacerbated by changes to the stamp duty system, making moving more expensive for those with homes worth more than £1m.
Research by Halifax Insurance found that the number of planning applications lodged for home extensions climbed 27pc in the last five years, led by London, where there has been a 60pc increase, the highest in the country.
But there is a stark north-south divide, with Scotland reporting a meagre 3pc increase in application since 2012. There are also signs that enthusiasm for extending may be cooling: in the last year the growth in planning applications has slowed to less than 2pc nationally, down from 6pc in the same period a year earlier.