15 million planning home improvements this year

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Many of those planning property projects intend to borrow to fund the work

Nearly half (46%) of UK homeowners are planning improvements to their property in the next year, according to Selina Advance, totalling 15 million people.

The fintech found that a fifth (22%) of those planning work will prioritise outside renovations including garden landscaping, paving and driveways, or adding a pool or hot tub.

Bathroom renovations are a priority for almost three million Brits (9% of all homeowners), followed by kitchen extensions or renovations (6%).

1.3 million homeowners said they plan to upgrade their home’s smart technology and a further 4% plan to make their home more sustainable, for example with solar panels (rising to 14% and 10% among those aged 18-34 respectively).

Selina Advance also spoke to those who have already completed a property project. One in five (17%) homeowners who made renovations in the last year said they did so to have as good a house, or the best house, among their neighbours or friends.

London renovations

Homeowners in the capital are particularly keen on home improvements, with 69% having made them in the last year, compared to 55% across the UK.

The top motivation of those that have already undertaken work was to add value to their home (23%), followed by creating more entertaining space (18%).

One in 10 (11%) made improvements to enable home-working, rising to 16% of 35-54 year olds, while 8% wanted to create space for children and growing families (rising to 14% of 18-34 year olds).

Hubert Fenwick, co-founder of Selina Advance, said: “The recent lockdowns have made us all think differently about our homes and it’s made many of us aspirational about how we want our homes to look, feel and operate. This looks set to continue as a further 15 million Brits have their sights set on upgrading their homes in the next 12 months.”

Funding home improvements

Selina Advance’s research also found that more than a quarter of homeowners (26%) borrowed to fund home improvements made in the last year. It discovered that 22% used unsecured credit such as credit cards or loans and 9% remortgaged. This rose to 34% who used credit among those with net assets of over £250,000.

Of homeowners who are planning renovations in the next year, 35% plan to use credit (32% with unsecured credit such as a credit card or loan and 10% plan to remortgage). Among those with higher assets (£250,000+) almost four in ten (39%) plan to use some form of credit (including 13% that plan to remortgage).