Back to Zopa Blog

It’s serious business playing house: Brits spend £83bn on upgrading their home every year

Our latest research reveals that Brits are spending £83 billion on upgrading their home each year.

This equates to the average house-proud adult splurging £3,048 to spruce-up their “castle” with furnishings, flowers and renovations – turning their house into a home to enjoy.

Spending over £3,000 on home improvements is more than double what we spend yearly on gas and electricity bills (£1,170[1]) and on going out for dinner (£1,602[2]), proving that we continue to place a high value on the place we call home.

And it’s not just DIY – research suggests that of the overall amount spent on upgrading their house, the average Brit spends £2,116[3] a year on furniture and furnishings, carpets and other floor coverings.

Zopa, the FeelGoodMoneyTM Company, also looked into how much time we spend on improving our home, with the study suggesting it’s 108 hours (or 4.5 days) per year.

With more than three quarters of Brits (77 percent) confessing to feeling ashamed about the state of their homes when unexpected guests arrive, it’s no wonder that people spend eight hours on housework every week to keep their homes looking beautiful.

Clare Gambardella, Chief Customer Officer at Zopa, said: “Everyone has a personal relationship with money. As this research shows, lots of Brits choose to spend their money on upgrading their house so that they can be proud of the place they call home, whether that be through a lick of paint or a spring clean. Our aim is to help people feel good about their money, whether that’s through spending on their home or elsewhere”

Sheffield revealed as the most houseproud city in the UK

The study also revealed that Sheffield is the most houseproud city in the UK, with 88 percent of residents in the Northern city claiming that their homes almost always look their best.

94 percent of Sheffield dwellers describe themselves as houseproud compared to a national average of 85 percent. A close second was Oxford at 90 per cent and Leicester at 88 per cent.

The research also revealed that 96 percent of Sheffield residents believe it’s important to keep up appearances at home through housework and renovations, compared to a national average of 92 percent.

Randa Kort, Interior Designer and judge on the BBC’s Best House in Town added: “Your home is your sanctuary, so it is key that you are proud of the space but also that you look after it day-to-day. Home improvements can be costly, but there are some great tips by property experts on how to get the most from your money. To get the ultimate FeelGood factor, make sure to speak to quality tradespeople if the design project goes beyond the DIY stage, and look around to see what is on trend for 2019.”

At the bottom of the houseproud list was Norwich, where only 35 percent of residents said their house was always spick and span.

They were joined by residents of Edinburgh and Plymouth who were most likely to say keeping up appearances at home was never a priory (15 percent).

The research found that more than a third (36 percent) of Brits felt renovating your house means you will get a better price for it, with 46 percent believing a loft conversion adds the most money, closely followed by a kitchen extension (42 percent) and new windows (40 percent).

A fifth of those who have a scruffy home said it was because they have busy lives, 18 percent added that their children tend to mess it up and 17 percent believe they are just not naturally tidy people.

The study found that 33 percent of the nation admits to tidying up BEFORE their cleaners come, while 23 percent say they like to look after their home as it’s a long-term investment.

Almost half (44 percent) believe it is important to keep up with the Joneses in regards to renovations, while more than a third (36 percent) believe a tidy house equals a tidy mind.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of Brits admit that seeing a messy or unclean house would put them off buying it, with one in 25 percent saying they wouldn’t dream of putting a property on the market without it looking fantastic.

The study also revealed a list of signs that you are houseproud, with touching up scuff marks on the wall with paint (39 percent), placing scented candles around your home (36 percent) and doing a thorough spring clean every year (33 percent) all topping the list. We repaint our interiors on average every four years.

Also, on the list was ironing your bed sheets (32 percent), shampooing your carpets regularly (32 percent), and buying fresh flowers on a weekly basis (31 percent).

Zopa has been an award-winning peer-to-peer lender since 2005. After gaining its bank licence with restrictions in December 2018, Zopa will now offer a wider suite of simple, fair financial products – including a fixed term savings accounts, credit card and money management app – with the aim of making people feel good about their money.

Since 2005, Zopa has helped a 100,000 people make their dream home a reality through its award winning personal loans.

Top ten most houseproud UK cities

Sheffield                                  94%

Oxford                                      90%

Leicester                                  88%

Manchester                              87%

Nottingham                               87%

Belfast                                      86%

London                                     86%

Liverpool                                   85%

Leeds                                        83%

Brighton                                    82%

Signs you go the extra mile with your home:

You touch up all scuff marks on the wall with paint            39%

You place scented candles around your home                   36%

You do a thorough spring clean every year                         33%

You iron your bedsheets                                                      32%

You shampooing your carpets monthly                                32%

You buy fresh flowers weekly                                               31%

You bleach your kitchen every day                                       27%

You iron your towels                                                              26%

You bin all clutter                                                                   25%

You keep up to date with all DIY projects                              24%

You wash your wheelie bin weekly                                        22%

You vacuum your curtains                                                      19%

You load the dishwasher as soon as you finish eating           19%

You repaint your house from top to bottom every year           17%

You have a special set of china just for guests                       17%

You spritz perfume around your house                                   16%

You bake bread just so your house smells good                     16%

You keep all your kids’ toys in their bedrooms                         15%

You update your kitchen every few years                                 15%

Your books are in alphabetical order                                        13%

You pretend you don’t have cleaner                                           7%

You make sure your kids are out when guests arrive                 5%