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News: DIY spending now double that on tradesmen

Homeowners are becoming evermore DIY daring it seems. New research not only shows we are spending more on do-it-yourself home improvements, but we are spending a massive amount extra on the tools to do increasingly adventurous jobs.

The Halifax research shows spending on DIY has increased by 76% in 'real' terms (i.e. after allowance for the increase in prices) from £6.4bn to £11.3bn over the past ten years. In comparison spending on tradesmen fell by 10% in 'real terms' to £5.7bn over the ten-year period.

Spending on DIY is now double spending on trades. In 1995, spending on DIY was on par with spending on trades.

The 76% increase in DIY spending over the past ten years was nearly twice the 41% increase in total consumer spending over this period. Within DIY, purchases of tools rose the most, up 126% over the past decade to £4.2bn, while spending on DIY materials rose 56% to £7.1bn.

DIY accounted for around 2% of total UK consumer spending in 2005. In 1995 DIY accounted for 1% of total consumer spending.

DIY spending highest in London and South East

Regionally, homeowners in London spend the most on home maintenance and repair with an average annual expenditure of £961, followed by households in the South East who spend, on average, £860. Families in the North East (£454) and Scotland (£548) spend the least. (See Table 2)

Spending on DIY accounts for 23% of average household expenditure on housing and household goods in the South East compared with 16% in Scotland. The UK average is 20%.

Despite DIY spend, more than 6 million homes are not in 'decent' condition

6.3 million homes are classified as non-decent by the English Home Conditions Survey. This represents over one in four of the total 22 million households in England. 29% of private dwellings were found to be 'non-decent' not meeting the basic standards required.

Annual household spending on DIY by owner occupiers

Average annual DIY expenditure £s

As % of total spending on housing and household goods

North East

454

17%

North West

667

19%

Yorkshire & the Humber

692

20%

East Midlands

752

22%

West Midlands

667

20%

East

766

19%

London

961

23%

South East

860

23%

South West

725

21%

Wales

653

20%

Scotland

548

16%

Northern Ireland

634

17%

UK

729

20%

Source: ONS family spending survey 2004-05

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