- More than 100,000 applications submitted to London planning authorities in 2016.
- Applications increased by 14 per cent in the East of England, the largest regional growth.
- Homes in Kensington and Chelsea take the number 1 spot for home improvement.
- Blackpool, West Dunbartonshire and Stoke-on-Trent homes are most in need of TLC.
It can be said that Britain is home to the proudest homeowners.
We love our homes. We are a nation obsessed with interiors, and we are continually perplexed by how other people like to live, decorate and furnish their own four walls.
Compared with other nations, Brits lovingly preserve their homes and demolish few. Aptly, the latest English Housing Survey suggests up to three quarters of our homes are more than 50-years-old.
We’re also moving less; far less than ever before. So, for Brits keen to keep up with the Joneses, the appeal of home improvement looms more than ever. In fact, in the past year, Barbour ABI’s Home Improvers of Great Britain 2017 report details there has been a 6 per cent rise in home improvement requiring planning permission.
The 8 Common Factors Which Drive Home Improvement:
- The economy
- House prices
- Home sales
- Rural or urban?
- Age profile
Bearing this in mind, bathroom and shower experts, Showerstoyou.co.uk sought to uncover the UK districts that are spending the most on refurbishing their home.
Research reveals the top three districts for home improvement are Kensington and Chelsea, with 6.8 home improvement (planning) applications for every 100 private homes, followed by Westminster (6.5) and Cambridge (6.5.)
The most notable rise can be seen in Cambridge, with 6.5 home improvement (planning) applications for every 100 private homes. Just two years ago, the district barely squeezed into the top 70 of home improvers. In 2017, it only narrowly misses out on ousting Westminster for the number two spot.
Conversely, the bottom three districts for home improvement are Blackpool, with 0.4 home improvement (planning) applications for every 100 private homes, followed by West Dunbartonshire (0.5) and Stoke-on-Trent (0.6.)
In the bottom 10 districts for home improvement, ironically perhaps, are areas where housing stock is in greatest need of TLC. Areas such as Blackpool, which tend to be more urban and far poorer than those featured higher in the list.
This is no surprise, given that house prices are a driver for home improvement planning applications, income another, while a rural setting tends to be more favourable than an urban one – outside of London. In fact, the chances of a planning application being submitted for any given private house in the bottom five districts in the list is about one tenth of those featured at the top.
Investigating the home improvement boom further, Showerstoyou conducted a survey featuring 1,212 UK homeowners and the leading results can be seen listed below:
- 68 per cent look to online websites and trends to find home improvement inspiration.
- 36 per cent say “to simply improve aesthetics” is the main factor for home improvement.
- 23 per cent chose ‘building an extension’ as the home improvement they would most like to carry out.
- 45 per cent admit they would choose the cheapest home improvement route available.
- 59 per cent of homeowners would rather carry out home improvement tasks than source a professional.
- 36 per cent believe the living room is the most crucial area to improve.
In terms of looking to buy a new home, respondents gave these opinions:
- 77 per cent claim they would not be put off buying a property in need of home improvement.
- 50 per cent believe the kitchen is the room they pay most attention to on house viewings.
- 39 per cent chose lime green as the colour they find most unappealing in a home!
For the bathroom specifically, homeowners ranked the most important aspects of a bathroom (1 being most important – 6 being least important) as follows:
- Size of the room
- Functionality and efficiency of plumbing
- The colour and style of suite
- Good décor
- Tiled flooring and walls