Kitchens Review Home Improvement Boom Minerva

Home improvement boom incoming, according to new report

There are signs of optimism in the home improvement industry, with new research revealing homeowners are planning kitchen and bathroom renovations, decorating, and external works in the next year, offering the industry an opportunity to capitalise on new business. 

Research shows that a third of UK homeowners are prioritising home improvements over making plans to move. On top of this, the one in ten people who need or want to move – but can’t due to the costs and challenges associated with buying and selling – are putting their plans on hold to improve their current home. 

According to Häfele UK, which has shared the findings in its new Homes for Living report, the home improvements topping the nation’s wish list are interior decorating (29%), new kitchens (23%), bathroom renovations (21%), flooring updates (21%) and new doors (15%). Other planned projects include external works such as roofing, gutters, and external paintwork (14%), new windows (14%), building a downstairs toilet (11%), installing a new boiler (10%) and adding new lighting (9%). 

For cost conscious consumers, ‘part grading’ is providing the opportunity to create improvements at a lower price point. In the research, over a third of homeowners who want or need a new kitchen said they’re considering replacing just some of the components, with over a fifth saying they would keep existing cabinets and drawers and replace the frontals. When it comes to keeping on top of colour and style trends, over a third said they’d achieve this by just updating their accessories including taps, handles and splashbacks. 

When it comes to the motives behind changing their kitchens, homeowners said updating the style is most important (25%), closely followed by needing to improve the quality of their space (23%), highlighting the need for a high standard of manufacturing and installation. Challenges with their current kitchens – such as not having enough storage (19%) or being functional enough (13%) – were also top drivers making consumers plan for a refurb, presenting a clear opportunity for designers and retailers. Other reasons homeowners are conducting home improvements are to increase the value of their property (16%) and to improve energy efficiency (13%). 

The areas in the UK most likely to make home improvements in the next year are Wales (58%) and Yorkshire and Humber (48%). The least likely is Northern Ireland (32%) – though a third of homeowners still have it on their agenda. 

Rachel Tuckey, chief product and marketing officer at Häfele UK, said: “A slow property market, interest rate fluctuations and the cost and complexity of moving are all leading to people considering how they can improve their current homes rather than move. Feedback from a lot of our customers is that consumers have been holding off investing in major home improvements in recent months, however these findings show we’re starting to see a shift in this trend.

“Whether you’re a designer, retailer, manufacturer or installer, now is the ideal time to start inspiring and informing customers about products, trends and best practice when it comes to their planned work, to take advantage of the predicted upcoming demand and get ahead of the competition. 

“With all this in mind, our Homes for Living report is perfectly timed. Packed with insight on the latest products and details of our wealth of support services, it also provides insight to what drives consumers to buy, meaning our customers can use it to grow their businesses. This is a really promising time for the KBB sector and wider home improvements industry, because it suggests there are bright times ahead.”

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