Many homebuyers trying to get on the property ladder will probably have put some money aside to pay for renovation costs when they do finally get a place of their own. However, it is not just new homeowners who are spending their cash on redecorating, as more and more Brits are enjoying updating their house year-on-year.
From installing a new kitchen to swapping your patio doors for new bifold doors in London, if it can make your home look better, we are doing it.
According to the latest findings from digital bank Zopa, which revealed that homeowners are splashing more than £3,000 a year on home improvements, Property Reporter highlighted.
The £3,048 we typically fork out for renovations and furnishings are more than double what homeowners spend on gas and electricity bills, with this amounting to £1,170 a year. It is also considerably more than what we pay for eating out, with Brits spending an average of £1,602 on dinner plans over 12 months.
It seems that homeowners are getting increasingly conscious of how their residence looks, with 77 per cent admitting they feel ashamed about the state of their property when people turn up unexpectedly. That is why we spend an average of eight hours a week on housework to avoid the embarrassment when surprise guests show!
Zopa also found that Brits are happy to get involved in DIY projects themselves, or at least have a go at it, with homeowners typically spending 108 hours a year on home improvement jobs. That amounts to four and a half-full days, proving just how seriously many of us are about keeping up with appearances.
Chief customer officer at Zopa Clare Gambardella said: “Everyone has a personal relationship with money. As this research shows, lots of Brits choose to spend their money on upgrading their house so that they can be proud of the place they call home, whether that be through a lick of paint or a spring clean.”
Of course, many of us do not undertake a substantial DIY project every year and are not installing kitchens, bathrooms, decking, or building extensions every 12 months. However, we are spending money on redecorating and even furnishings. The findings reported as much as £2,116 is spent on average to upgrade carpets, furniture and floors.
So what is the main reason behind our growing consciousness – and shame – about how our homes look? According to the report, 44 per cent of people believe they have to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and do not want their home to look worse than their neighbours’ or friends’, while 36 per cent think a tidy house is essential to feel organised and on top of things.
However, many people find it difficult – and often stressful – to maintain this level of redecorating and even tidying. The study found 20 per cent of people have a scruffy home because their lives are so busy, they struggle to find time to clean, while 18 per cent blame their children for making it messy; and 17 per cent admit they are not naturally tidy people.
It seems we are so conscious of what our homes say about us that even those who get some extra help to maintain their property do a bit of prep work first. A third of homeowners confess they tidy up their house before the cleaner comes!
Home improvement jobs are not just relevant to those who want to have a lovely orderly house, and for many people, they are essential to boost their value.
The property market at the moment is somewhat stagnant, with the latest UK House Price Index from the HM Land Registry revealing homes in England has increased in value by just 0.4 per cent over the year leading to February 2019.
A drop from the 1.4 per cent annual growth rate for the preceding month’s figures, and represents the lowest yearly increase for England since February 2012. During this month, values only increased by 0.2 per cent over the 12 months.