Published on 8 - May - 2012
DIY spending drops to a record lowThe continued squeeze on household budgets and a subdued housing market have been blamed for the lowest level of DIY expenditure in 15 years, as revealed by a recent report by Lloyds TSB.
Lloyds TSB says people are spending less and less money on home improvement
The data, compiled from ONS figures and a family spending survey, showed households spent a total of £7.8bn on DIY last year, equivalent to £300 per home. This is the lowest since Lloyds began the records in 1996 and almost half the £15.5bn spent during the DIY peak of 2004.
There was a fall of 17% in real terms - which allow for inflation - from the total of £9.4bn spent in 2010. Tools and equipment for home improvements declined by almost a fifth, from £3.8bn in 2010 to £3.1bn in 2011. Faring slightly better was spend on DIY materials including paint and plaster, which suffered a less dramatic drop of 16% - from £5.6bn to £4.7bn.
Total spending on DIY and tradesmen's services fell by 10% to £14.8bn in 2011 from £16.4bn in 2010. In contrast to the significant drop in DIY spending, expenditure on tradesmen's services rose by 1% in real terms over the past year from £6.97bn to £7.04bn. This growth was small respite, however, from the steady 40% decline in tradesmen's services spend over the past 10 years.
The group described DIY consumer behaviour as "highly differing" over the past 10 years. Between 2001 and 2007 spend on DIY increased by almost a fifth (18%) as the housing market boomed. Tools spend saw a massive boost of 82%. Since the peak of the housing market in 2007, DIY spend has plummeted by 44%.
Lloyds TSB housing economist Suren Thiru said: "Consumers have been experiencing the biggest squeeze on their discretionary income for over a year. Couple that with a very subdued housing market, and it is unsurprising that so many are cutting back on home improvements.
"With economic conditions expected to remain challenging, the current squeeze on spending on both DIY and tradesmen is likely to continue for some time yet."
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