Spending on DIY falls to twelve year low

Household expenditure on DIY totalled £9.5 billion in 2010, equivalent to an average outlay of £352 per household: a fall of 13% in real terms (i.e. after allowing for inflation) from the £10.9 billion spent in 2009.

Overall, expenditure on home maintenance (DIY and tradesmen’s services) has fallen by 9% over the past year, from £17.8bn in 2009 to £16.2bn in 2010. Expenditure on tradesmen’s services declined by 3% over the same period from £6.9bn to £6.7bn.

Over the past decade, UK households have increasingly looked to undertake home maintenance themselves instead of paying for tradesmen’s services. In 2000, UK households spent 7% more in real terms on hiring tradesmen than DIY. By the end of the decade, however, this trend had been reversed as households spent 41% more on DIY than on hiring tradesmen in 2010.

And while DIY expenditure sits at a twelve year low, down -0.2% since 2000, this decline is still substantially smaller than the 34% fall in expenditure on tradesmen’s services over the same period.

- Between 2009 and 2010, spending by households on materials such as paint, wallpaper and plaster fell by 15% in real terms to £5.6 billion. Expenditure on tools and equipment for DIY (including power tools and lawnmowers), dropped by 9% over the same period.
- Real expenditure on tools and equipment for DIY has risen by 55% since 2000, compared to a 20% decrease in spending on materials.
- The latest available regional figures show that householders in Wales are the UK’s biggest spenders on DIY, with an average outlay of £588 in nominal terms in 2009, followed by the North East (£572) and the West Midlands (£556). In contrast, those living in the North West (£322) spent the least on DIY.
- DIY expenditure as a proportion of total housing related expenditure (i.e. mortgage payments, household insurance etc) was the highest in the North East (11.1%) and lowest in London (4.7%).

Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, commented: “Spending on DIY has fallen significantly over the past year. The current squeeze on household finances from high inflation and weak earnings growth has made it difficult for many households to spend as much as they used to on discretionary items such as home maintenance. However, the benefits associated with maintaining or improving your property is likely to ensure that over the long term the popularity of DIY will remain enduring.”d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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