Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

DIY spend reaches six-year high

Published: 26 May 2015
Spending on DIY increased by 10% last year - taking it to its highest level since 2008, according to new research by Lloyds Bank.
DIY spend reaches six-year high
Households forked out a total of £5.5bn on DIY in 2014 - equivalent to around £200 per household - up from the £5bn spent in 2013. However, Lloyds says that while this was the highest annual total for six years - £6bn was spent in 2008 - it was still 19% below its peak of £6.8bn in 2007.

Expenditure on tools for home improvements, ranging from plumbing tools to lawnmowers, increased by 9% from £4bn in 2013 to £4.4bn in 2014, while spend on materials rose by 10% from £1bn to £1.1bn.

Lloyds' research also found that, despite the much-talked-about trend towards 'do it for me', there was little change in spending on tradesmen's services. At £1.4bn, it increased only by 1% between 2013 and 2014. This means that for every £1 spent on tradesmen, almost £4 was spent on DIY tools and materials.

Total spending on home maintenance - DIY and tradesmen's services combined - increased by 8% to £6.9bn in 2014 from £6.4bn the previous year. This was the third successive annual increase, taking overall spending on home maintenance to its highest level since 2008 (£7.2bn).

Lloyds says that the past 10 years have underlined how spending on home maintenance has a strong link to the performance of the housing market. Spending reduced by around 36% between the height of the housing market in 2007 (£8.3bn), and the bottom in 2011 (£6.1bn). As the housing market picked up between 2011 and 2014, spending on DIY increased by 13% again.

Lloyds Bank mortgages director Andy Hulme said: "The latest figures provide further evidence that people are continuing to increase their spending on DIY and home improvements as the economy and housing market pick up, with DIY spending increasing by 10% in the last year.

"This followed a sharp fall in spending between 2007 and 2011, which reflected the worst of the economic and housing downturns during this period."

Comparing what people spent in 2014 with their spend 10 years previously, Lloyds found DIY spend down 9%, tools spend flat, materials spend down 35%, tradesmen spend up 20% and total home maintenance spend down 5%.

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