With much of the nation effectively back in lockdown, clues from households that were previously in regional high tier levels suggest we may be about to witness a massive surge in home improvements before or just after New Year.
New research from AA Financial Services found households in Covid Tier 3 regions were 20% more likely to have started home improvements than those in Tiers 1 and 2, with the average spend for particular projects significantly higher.
Just under a third (62%) of households in Tier 3 areas said they planned home improvements in the next three months, compared with 50% of those in Tiers 1 and 2.
Of those in Tier 3 regions with home improvement plans, making the home more environmentally friendly – such as installing insulation, car chargers or solar panels, featured in the top two home improvement projects after painting and decorating (44%). Just over a quarter (26%) planned to make green improvements to their homes (compared with 10% of those in Tier one) spending an average of £4,340 (compared with £2,480 among those in Tier one).
This was followed by upgrading tech items in the house (13%) – from internet connection to appliances – giving a sense of how people were keeping themselves entertained and functioning in lockdown, and the need to work from home. Here the average amount people in Tier 3 were spending on upgrading tech was £4,470 – roughly double the amount households in Tiers 1 and 2 were planning (£2,700).
The research also found the ways people were funding their home improvements this year was different to previous years, with the proportion of people planning to borrow money doubling compared to 2019. Close to a third of people nationwide (30%) said they planned to borrow money this year, up from 17% last year. This rose to 37% of people who were in Tier 3.
James Fairclough, Director of AA Financial Services commented: “For many, going into Tier 3 lockdown is tough. People are worried about their jobs and their loved ones – and Christmas. Added to that, being stuck at home for long periods of time can have an adverse impact on mental health. Throughout this year’s lockdowns and restrictions, our research has shown bringing forward home improvement plans has been, for many, a positive way to use time at home, to improve wellbeing and add to the value of a home.”
Picture: Home improvement could see a second post-lockdown boom.
Image by Rajesh Balouria from Pixabay
Article written by Cathryn Ellis
16th December 2020