Cash-Strapped Brits Reduce Spending on DIY

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Household spending on DIY has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years, new research reveals.

The annual Lloyds TSB home maintenance survey shows UK households are cutting down on home maintenance in a bid to save money.

Total expenditure on DIY in 2010 equalled £9.5 billion which is the equivalent to an average £352 per household. This is a fall of 13 percent on the amount spent in 2009 – after allowing for inflation, from the total £10.9 billion.

Over the past year, DIY and tradesmen’s services spending has fallen by nine percent, from £17.8 billion to £16.2 billion.

“The current squeeze on household finances from high inflation and weak earnings growth has made it difficult for many households to spend as much as they used to on discretionary items such as home maintenance,” Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB housing economist.

“However, the benefits associated with maintaining or improving your property is likely to ensure that over the long term the popularity of DIY will remain enduring.”

Instead of paying for tradesmen’s services, over the past decade, more and more British households have looked to complete home maintenance themselves. In 2000, the study found UK households spent seven percent more on hiring tradesmen than DIY – and by the end of the decade, this trend had reversed as households spent 41 percent more on DIY than on hiring a professional in 2010.

Regional figures reveal households in Wales are the UK’s biggest spenders on DIY, with an average outlay of £588 in 2009, closely followed by those in the North East, who spend £572 on average, and the West Midlands who spend £556. Those living in the North West were shown to spend the least - on average £322.

Research by Scottish Provident revealed Brits are feeling stressed over their lack of savings, with 37 percent admitting they have money worries, suggesting spending on DIY is not likely to increase any time soon.

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