Cheaper finance and fewer property listings are behind the growing trend of home renovations, says REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows Queensland councils have approved the highest number of alterations and additions to homes during the six months to the end of December.

Around $930 million in major residential renovations work was approved in Queensland, $80 million more than in the same period the previous year.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” says Conisbee. “Firstly we’ve had three interest rate cuts. Getting finance is a lot cheaper so people are able to borrow more money.

“The second issue is around the fact that there are fewer listings, so even if people want to upgrade into a new home, a lot haven’t been able to find one, so it becomes attractive to renovate the one they’re in.

“Also if you are looking for a bigger home, it may be better value to renovate your (current) home because of the cost of moving and selling.”