Home improvements remain popular despite recession

| April 30, 2009
Home improvements remain popular despite recession

Many people in the UK are choosing to improve their home instead of moving house, according to research by AA Personal Loans.

A study by the credit provider found that there has been no fall in the number of loans taken out for home improvements, despite the recession.

“Although many would expect demand for home improvement loans to be less during the recession, our figures show that their popularity is actually unchanged,” said Mark Huggins, AA’s head of personal loans.

AA said that with house prices having dropped by an average of 10% over the past 12 months, homeowners building upgrades are giving priority to their needs and personal comfort rather than thinking about resale value.

Nearly six in ten (57%) of home owners said they were making improvements to create a nicer living environment.

This is compared to just one third (32%) who said the renovation was to add value.

The types of rooms being built reflect this attitude.

A quarter of recent extensions have been to add a new room for entertaining in, rather than building new bedrooms or a conservatory.

One in six, meanwhile, have extended their house to include a home office.

AA said both of these rooms demonstrate that homeowners are making long term plans to stay in their current property.

Mark Burgess, editor of Estate Agency Times commented: “Even though the nation is collectively tightening its belt as the recession rolls on, it’s not that surprising that many homeowners are bucking the trend by taking out home improvement loans to renovate their properties.

“Providing you are able to keep up with loan repayments, now is one of the best times to make home improvements.

“Not only are labour costs more competitive but extending a property during the downturn will not only add value long term but also make the property more comfortable for day to life.”


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