Britain is a nation of improvers, not movers

7 Jun, 2016

New research released by Zopa shows Brits are renovating their properties to create their dream home for the long-term, with over two thirds (67 per cent) of people undertaking renovations saying they plan to stay in their property for five years or more.

Far from viewing their homes as just a financial investment, Brits are opting to create their dream home by investing in improvements to live in for longer, making the UK a nation of improvers not movers. The survey, of over 1,200 people who had taken a Zopa home improvement loan, found that only a quarter (27 per cent) either have had or plan to get their home revalued after renovations, and less than one in ten (9 per cent) said they would need to move to be in their ideal home.

So far in 2016, Zopa customers have borrowed over £50 million to improve their homes, a 54% increase on home improvement loans compared to the same period last year. The figures show that more and more people are choosing to use a Zopa loan to improve their most important asset: their home.

With personal loan rates at record low rates, an unsecured loan, currently offers one of the best value options for those looking to undertake a home improvement. Home improvers can spread their loan costs evenly over a number of years, and for the vast majority it can be much quicker than re-mortgaging which typically can take up to two months and can be a far cheaper option than using a credit card with typical purchase interest rates well above 20% APR when compared to a typical personal loan from Zopa that averages 8% APR and with an online process that takes under 2 days, Zopa’s current loan rates start from 3.3% APR.

In line with latest ONS data suggesting more people are choosing to entertain at home, space to host family and friends is high up on the list for people’s ideal home. A third (34 per cent) used their home improvement loan to revamp their kitchens and, of those who said their homes are not yet perfect, a fifth (19 per cent) cited a bigger kitchen as top of their wish list. This reflects recent data from HMRC that suggests home transactions for April 2016 are down 14% compared to same month last years, highlighting that people are opting not to move and sell up.

Far from heading to the estate agents after renovations, two out of five people say they are now in their perfect home. Of those who still don’t think their property is perfect, only one in five (22 per cent) said they would need to move. The most commonly cited areas for improvement were better décor (31 per cent), bigger kitchens (19 per cent) and more bedrooms (19 per cent).