With most of the nation stuck indoors, the report has found that UK’s homeowners have spent £55billion* on renovations to create their perfect property. That is an average of £4,035.70 each on home renovations since the lockdown restrictions began in March.
While many have struggled with the impact of lockdown on their finances, the research found that having to spend more time at home has inspired almost two-thirds (65%) of homeowners to invest in renovations to their properties.
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Findings also suggested that the trend for investing in homes is set to continue as almost three quarters (73%) of homeowners questioned admitting they will continue to stay home as much as possible, even with lockdown easing.
When asked why they chose to invest in their home, over a quarter (27%) of homeowners cited adding value to their home as a reason whilst almost two thirds (63%) said it was to make their home feel comfortable as they were spending more time in it. Zoom has also played its part. Approaching half (40%) of British homeowners admitted to ‘Zoombarrassement’ over the appearance of their homes.
However, those looking to renovate or improve their homes will need to balance short term wishes with long term gain. The financial impact of investing in a home should always be a concern and ensuring that value is added through the work done on the property is essential.
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The report suggests that the pandemic has impacted our home renovation dreams as social areas begin to take precedence over areas of utility.
Before the pandemic little attention was paid towards the most social areas of the home including the garden and living room. The 2020 Renovation Nation Report suggests homeowners perception of importance has changed as specialist areas are seen as an asset rather than a novelty. Areas such as a garden studio, leisure area, indoor gym or pub/bar area that add a point of difference, escapism or an improvement to well-being are a necessity. Going forwards, buyers in today’s market will take more notice of these areas which increases their potential to add value to the overall property.
It seems homeowners are sacrificing more than ever for their perfect home as the findings show that; Almost a quarter (24%) stated they have used money originally intended for a holiday to finance their new home improvements, which is second only to general savings (26%). Some even admitted to sacrificing their ‘big day’ as 4% of British homeowners revealed they used savings originally intended for a wedding or engagement ring.
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Garden upgrades topped the list for the most popular lockdown renovation projects earlier this year. Further analysis from money.co.uk also indicates that locked down Brits are hoping to make use of their outdoor space this winter, to make meeting outside possible during the colder months
Using Google search data, findings reveal the top 15 outdoor garden products we are searching for the most:
Findings unearth that people are searching for garden products that will help to keep them warm, amid the cold English winter.
Searches for Chiminea Fire Pit have surged by +400% since the three tier lockdown system was introduced. This is closely followed by additional searches related to outdoor heating products (Outdoor Heating: +300%, Outdoor Electric Heating: +250% and Fire Pit: +200%).
With an increase in searches for gazebos and outdoor blankets, figures indicate that people are preparing to find ways they can make the most of their outdoor space to socialise.
The research of 1,022 UK homeowners was conducted on behalf of Money.co.uk during July 2020.
Number of owner occupied properties in the UK 18,090,000 (15 million in England, English Housing Survey 2018/2019; 1.53 million in Scotland - 62% owner occupied of a total stock of 2.48 million, Housing Statistics for Scotland 2019: Key Trends Summary; 1 million in Wales - 70% owner occupied from a total stock of 1.43 million, Dwelling Stock Estimates for Wales as at 31 March 2019; 559k in Northern Ireland - 70% owned outright or owned with mortgage out of a total stock of 798,791, Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2018-19)
*76% of UK homeowners spent money on renovations in their home during lockdown 0.76 x 18,090 million equals 13.75 million homeowners. UK homeowners spent an average of £4,035.70 on home renovation during lockdown.
13.57 million x £4,134 equals £55.48bn
Search data from Winter Garden Renovation records data between 13/10/20-20/10/20
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press such as The Express, Travel Daily, and The Daily Star.