A new study by Experian has found that the cost of living crisis is significantly impacting people’s home improvement plans. The research found the majority of UK homeowners (67%), are planning a renovation in 2022. Average planned spend is £6,959, with around 50% intending to spend £2,500 or less. Just one in ten (9%) are planning on spending more than £20,000.
Nearly a quarter of those planning a renovation (23%) are driven by environmental concerns, wanting to make their homes more sustainable, with approximately 1.9m households* intending to install solar panels or other renewable capabilities this year. One in ten (12%) said they were worried about how to pay their electricity bills this winter, and were hoping the investment would help decrease costs later in the year.
Two thirds (67%) will be using their general savings to pay for the renovations, and over one in ten (11%) will use credit. However, only 12% of those surveyed were aware of the financial support available to improve household energy efficiency.
The Green Homes Grant is one form of financial support for those looking to take energy-saving measures in their homes. The scheme allows eligible homeowners to redeem two-thirds of the cost of selected home improvements from the government, up to the value of £5,000. Homes will also benefit from zero VAT on energy efficient measures for the next five years, announced in the Spring Statement, from April 2022.
However, energy efficiency isn’t the sole driver of the refurbishment trend. A third of property owners (32%) are choosing to spruce up their décor with soft furnishings and retouched paint work. Over a quarter (26%) are looking to revamp their outdoor space, and a fifth (21%) say they will update a whole room, such as a new kitchen. More than a quarter said renovation would help them to add value to their properties (26%) and improve their mood (25%).
James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian said “Households across the country are investing in their homes to help manage energy bill increases this winter. For some this has meant insulation improvements or window repairs, which will also reduce their property’s carbon footprint, while others are making significant investments in solar panels and other energy efficient technologies.”
“While home improvement can be a great investment, we want to make sure people are aware they can check their eligibility for credit on comparison sites, to help them find the most affordable deals, and that they’re checking for any available support from the Government to make sure they’re only spending what’s necessary from personal funds.”