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UK’s home improvers set to spend £50.89 billion as Brexit fails to dampen confidence

Nearly six in ten (59%) of the UK’s homeowners are planning to carry out home improvements worth £50.89bn¹ over the next six months – contradicting recent reports of weakened consumer confidence – according to new research by roof window manufacturer Velux.

The Velux 2017 Home Improvement survey, released to coincide with Home Improvement Month in April, shows that the number of property owners planning home improvement projects has increased by 12% on this time last year.

Contrary to many recent reports suggesting a weakening of consumer confidence in the shadow of Brexit, the UK’s home improvers are willing to invest to create their dream home, with a planned average spend of £4,870 over the next six months. One in six home improvers (16%) are planning to spend over £10,000 on their proposed projects.

According to the findings, the rationale for home improvement is ‘more emotional than rational’. Over a third of home owners (34%) who are planning to improve their property over the next six months are reportedly doing so because they love their home and the area they live in and don’t want to move. By comparison, a quarter (26%) are improving their home to add value to the property.

This ‘home sweet home’ philosophy is also front of mind for a quarter of home improvers (24%), whose main reason for home improvement is one of self-satisfaction, simply to make them feel good about themselves. As a key reason for home improvement, it is only marginally behind adding value.

The main focus of home improvement plans is cosmetic, with 71% planning to paint and decorate. However, a quarter (26%) are investing in flooring and lighting, followed by a new kitchen or bathroom (24%) and replacement windows (13%). In London, where space is at more of a premium than elsewhere in the UK, 14% of home improvers are planning an extension compared to just 1% of home improvers in Wales and Scotland.

Grant Sneddon, product manager from Velux said: “Despite widespread reports of weakened consumer and business confidence, our comprehensive research underlines a clear intention from homeowners to continue investing in their homes.

“What’s perhaps more interesting is that homeowners are spending out of a personal preference of creating their dream homes, just as much as those who are spending to invest in the future value of their property.

“Whether it’s by creating an extra room, converting a loft, building an extension or replacing a kitchen or bathroom, it appears that home owners up and down the county are realising the potential of their homes and choosing to improve or to add to the space they have, instead of moving to a different property.”

UK based interior design blogger and stylist, Hege Morris of Hege in France, said: “The internet has helped to inspire millions of people to realise the potential of their house and have the courage to create their own dream homes.

“Many homeowners now look beyond the functional use of their home to create spaces which mean more to them. For some, this means creating a personal sanctuary where they can escape from the rigours of everyday life, manage a home-run business or pursue a hobby.

“For others, particularly those with families, we’re seeing the continued growth of large, light and bright, open living spaces, where they can spend more quality time together.”

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