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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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UK credit crunch

Press release: 10/07/2008


  • Almost one million British households are ‘doing up' their homes because the effects of the credit crunch are preventing them from moving*

  • Despite Brits tightening their belts in other areas, average spend on home improvements is over £5,000

  • Brits are making use of every available space with almost 1.5 million new extensions being built or considered in the next year**

As concerns about the UK property market continue, home insurer LV= reveals that almost one million homes are being extended, renovated or revamped over the coming 12 months, rather than being sold, because owners are worried about the effects of the credit crunch.

Despite purse strings tightening in other areas of spending, over half (57%) of all Brits have undertaken home improvements in the last 12 months or plan to complete them in the next six months.

The total cost of these renovations is estimated to be over £4 billion***.

6% attribute their investment in home improvements to a concern about the credit crunch, and 15% have made or are making improvements in an expectation of making money on their property when the housing market recovers. A further 14% admit to improving their home because moving at the current time just isn't affordable.

Emma Holyer, Spokesperson for LV= Home Insurance said: "Despite the challenging housing market and lack of affordable mortgages, we are still a nation obsessed with our homes and what money we can make on them. Many homeowners told us they were spending this money so they could profit more on their homes when they do come to sell them after the market has stabilised. This shows that although people are concerned about the short term housing market there does appear to be optimism in the long term."

Of all home improvements undertaken or planned in the next year, the most popular types of home improvements other than simple painting and decorating are:

  • 5.6 million (39%) home owners are planning to improve floors (carpets, tiling or sanding floors)

  • 4.7 million (33%) home owners are planning to refit the bathroom

  • 4.1 million (29%) home owners are planning to landscape the garden

  • 4.1 million (29%) home owners are planning to refit the kitchen

  • 2.3 million (16%) home owners are planning to install new windows

The research found that many homeowners are planning to do the work themselves - possibly to try and save money as a result of the credit crunch. 44% of people planning a new kitchen and 46% of those planning a bathroom said either them, or a member of their family, would be doing the work.

Clearly room is an issue for many homeowners. 6% of people are extending their homes and 4% are building loft conversions – leading to 1.5 million major building projects specifically commissioned to extend the space.

Emma Holyer added: "Anyone planning an extension or significant building work should inform their insurer and also check anyone they are employing to undertake the work is fully insured. On most occasions an extension or loft conversion will need some form of planning permission so you should call in the experts for advice and not be tempted to try and do the work yourself."

Homeowners in the South East of England are planning to spend the most on home improvements with an average cost of £6,333. Homeowners in Scotland and Northern Ireland are committed to spending half that amount at £3,616.


All figures unless stated obtained from Opinium Research LLP. Opinium carried out a nationally representative online poll of 2,056 British adults between 15th and 18th April 2008. www.opinium.co.uk

*There are approximately 25,000,000 households in Britain. 57% have undertaken home improvements or plan to. 14.25m homes will be carrying out home improvements. 6% of those undertaking home improvements say they are doing up their homes because they are concerned about the credit crunch and the housing market so are improving their current property rather than moving. So 6% of 14.25m households = 0.855m

**There are approximately 25,000,000 households in Britain. 57% have undertaken home improvements or plan to. 14.25m homes will be carrying out home improvements. Of this 4% will be having a loft extension, and 6% will be extending their house. Therefore, 10% of homes will be extended in some way. 10% of 14.25m = 1.425m

***There are approximately 25,000,000 households in Britain. 57% have undertaken home improvements or plan to. 14.25m homes will be carrying out home improvements. 6% of those undertaking home improvements say they are doing up their homes because they are concerned about the credit crunch and the housing market so are improving their current property rather than moving. So 6% of 14.25m households = 0.855m. Average spend is £5,249. 855,000 x £5,249 = £4,487,895,000