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Study finds £13,000 is spent on home improvements in first year of ownership

Published: 27 November 2019 - John King

British homeowners spend more than £13,000 on home improvements in the first year of purchasing a new home, according to new research.

The data, collected by loans broker Norton Finance as part of their Home Improvements Report 2019, asked 1,000 homeowners who had bought a house in the last five years, to reveal how they budgeted and prioritised any extra spending in the first 12 months after moving in.

The research showed that putting their own style on their new property was the most important, as they spent nearly a quarter (23%) of the £13,016.89 average total on painting and decorating (£805.31), buying new furniture (£1251.63) and flooring (£1014.06). Bigger projects such as adding an extension or a conservatory, were the least commonly tackled home improvements.

When it came budgeting, while Brits managed to spend an average of 1% less than they had planned, there were some stark generational differences.

The youngest house buyers aged 18-24 showed they were happy to ignore their budgets, forking out an unplanned £287.50 on flooring and £274.29 on new lighting, contributing to a 10% overspend totalling £1,103.21.

Those aged 65 or more showed that you most definitely can put a price on experience, coming in 13% under than their planned budgets, saving themselves £976.87.

It was those who had bought a brand-new home who had accrued the most expenses in their first year, spending an average of £19,506.51 on costs including £1,345.28 on energy saving improvements such as a new boiler, and a further £1373.68 on general maintenance and repairs.

In comparison to the rest of the country, Londoners almost doubled the national average spend, with £24,871.70 being spent after buying a new home, only £200 more than what they’d planned.

On the other hand, homeowners in the North West proved to be the most prudent with their pennies, underspending by 10% and saving £866.81 in the process.

On the results Paul Stringer, managing director at Norton Finance, said: “After the years of saving, the months of paperwork and the stress of moving, the feeling you get when you finally have the keys to your new home your own is unlike anything else.

“For younger buyers with less experience, sometimes the excitement of the blank canvas and walls to stamp their personality into this space can get the better of their budgeting skills, leading unplanned spending.

“We hope that findings of our research inspires parents and grandparents to pass on the benefits of their experience to their children and that the figure can give a little more guidance for people of all ages who are planning their next move.” 


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