Across the Atlantic divide, our American cousins are more or less in the same financial crisis as we are. Indeed, the whole world appears to be firmly held in the jaws of the ubiquitous credit crunch monster. Moreover, in the USA the crippled realty market has had a negative impact on home improvement spending. Indeed, a recent report published by analyst Fitch Ratings suggests that home improvement spending will slow further in 2009 following a 4.5 percent drop in 2008 from 2007. This represents lost revenue of around $13 billion across the industry. Meanwhile, though, the UK market is looking altogether different…
Housing Market Down, Home Improvement Up
Towards the end of May 2009, the Halifax Home Improvement Survey (HHIS) confirmed what industry experts have been saying all along: home improvements in the UK remain big business. Seemingly undaunted by the housing market collapse, homeowners and property deveopers are availing of a weakened market economy to make improvements to their property. Whilst for some this may simply mean a little redecorating amounting to little more than a late Spring clean, to others it means a loft conversion, extension or garden landscaping. Indeed, the HHIS figures show that 55 percent of homeowners have undertaken home improvement projects in the last year. The average spend of these projects, excluding major jobs such as extensions, rests at a fairly whopping £5,300.
Figures also show that redecoration is a priority amongst 64 percent of homeowners, whilst 39 percent are electing to improve their gardens. Additionally, 13 percent of homeowners have added space to their homes, comprising either a conversion, extension or conservatory. These figures may suggest that homeowners are planning for the future by improving the sale price of their homes for a time when the credit crunch monster has since been slain. However, they could also suggest that homeowners have given up on selling their homes and have instead decided to make changes to improve their living conditions. Either way, home improvement is on the up in the UK at a time when everything else seems to be heading South, which is good news for everybody.