Brits raid savings to pay for home improvements

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

From painting and decorating to extensions, we are shrugging off Brexit woes to spend on our homes

British households spent an average of £2,634 on home improvements in the three months to September, totalling a massive £71bn spent on our properties, said AA Financial Services.

Despite wider economic and political uncertainty, half of the money was funded from people’s rainy day savings.

What improvements are we making?

The most popular (and least expensive) form of DIY over the last three months was redecorating the house.

But the big money went on extensions, with 5% of adults saying they were investing in an extension project, at an average cost of £11,014.

A significant 3% of those investing in a kitchen were spending more than £5,000 and it was the home improvement most likely to be funded from people’s savings (554%).

Where’s the money coming from?

Almost one in five respondents (18%) turned to family members to borrow money to fund their home improvements.

People in Scotland were the most likely to raid their savings to fund home improvements (55%).

David Searle, director of financial services at AA Financial Services, said: “People often look at house prices as a barometer of economic confidence but, in truth, what people do with their homes when they are not actually moving is far more telling.

“Home improvements are expensive but they are a discretionary form of spend.

“People invest in them when they have underlying confidence and they can cancel plans quickly when fortunes change. The extent of activity and the level of home improvement spend in the last three months suggests people have confidence in property, their jobs and their home – irrespective of the broader economic picture.”