Britons Spending More on Maintaining Their Properties
New research has shown that as a nation we are spending an increasing amount on DIY and home maintenance. Levels in the UK are now at their highest for six years, having witnessed a growth in spending following the decline of the industry during the recession.
Recovering from Recession
The study carried out for Lloyds Bank found that last year we spent £5.5 billion on DIY alone. This equates to about £200 for every household and was an increase of 10% on 2013 spending levels. This is the highest spending has been in this area since 2008, but it is still 9% less than where we were 10 years ago, when it reached £6.2 billion. However, it does indicate that confidence is returning to the housing market in general.
The total amount consumers spent on home maintenance, which includes DIY and the services of tradesmen, rose to £6.9 billion, which is a growth of 8% on the year before. This is the third year in a row that spending has increased in this area. It is still well below the levels we experienced during the peak of the housing boom, when spending grew to £8.3 billion in 2007. However, it is above the lowest figures that were recorded in 2011, when we spent just £6.1 billion.
The figures show that spending was up across most of the sector as consumers look to improve their properties in a range of ways, including installing new glass balcony railings or carrying out loft conversions.
There was an increase of 9% on the amount we spent on equipment and tools, which went up to £4.4 billion. This area is now at the same level as it was in 2004, when the property market was near its height.
DIY is now an important element in this sector, seeing more growth than the amount we spend on professional property services, such as plumbers and builders. In comparison to the increase in DIY spending, the amount we pay out to tradesmen only increased by 1% last year. This means that we now spend £3.92 on DIY materials and tools for each £1 that is spent on the services of professionals.
This research is further proof of the positivity that there is across the housing sector. As consumer confidence grows, we are willing to spend more on maintaining and improving our homes, following years of having to make do with what we already have.