With Brits expected to spend £4.5 billion shopping by the first Saturday of December, £29.6 Billion is set to be lavished on home improvements – not on presents under the tree – according to new research from AA Financial Services.
Overall, almost half of homeowners (49%) are planning a home improvement project before Santa comes to town – and will draw an average of £2,339.46 from their savings to fund it, most people are raiding their nest eggs rather than borrowing money to fund their festive projects
Concluding its year-long study of the house moving and home improving habits of British adults, AA Financial Services asked a national representative sample of 2,038 UK homeowners what, if any, home improvement projects they planned before the end of the year, what they planned to spend – and where the money would come from.
The average planned spend on work relating to an extension was £12,902 – with 15% spending more than £20,000. Plumbing and insulation work attracted significant spend for those getting their home ready for the winter chill. The research also gave an early indication that the evolving interest in electric cars will have a profound effect on home improvement spend in the future. Whilst only 3% of respondents said they planned to install an electric car charges in their property, the scale of spend was second only to major building projects (£3,479).
Improvements around the home are never cheap, especially at this time of year. When asked how they plan to fund home improvements, people were more likely to draw on their savings (49%) than to rely on finance (17%). Interestingly, those looking for unsecured finance were three times more likely to say they would max out their credit card rather than apply for a personal loan at a much more competitive APR.
David Searle, the AA’s Director of Financial Services commented: “The nation’s obsession with home improvements is no longer a seasonal past-time for the summer months. The trend for retail sales before Christmas could have an enduring impact not just on Christmas shopping but home improvements too. or many homeowners, home improvement projects make sound financial sense as they can tangibly improve the value of a property.
“For those seeking finance, we highly recommend that people shop around for a good deal and consider the benefits of a competitively priced loan over a credit card. This will help mitigate against financial pain when January’s credit card bill hits the doormat and be less of a strain on monthly disposable income.”