Neighbourhoods in disrepair due to lack of home maintenance

Mortgage Introducer

June 21, 2016

houses from above

Homeowners in the UK spend an average of £3,579 every year on the interior of their home, whilst over half (57%) are investing less than £250 annually on outdoor home maintenance.

The Lloyds Bank Insurance Britain at Home report revealed that the areas inside the home seeing the highest levels of annual expenditure are the kitchen (£938), living room (£584), bathroom (£527), and bedroom/s (£423). In contrast, homeowners spend an average of £714 on all outdoor areas, while over half (57%) are spending less than £250.

The findings come despite homeowners seeing the maintenance of indoor (53%) and outdoor (52%) areas as being of equal importance. Furthermore, with two thirds (67%) suffering from negative feelings as a result of living in neighbourhoods that are poorly maintained, the research suggest homeowners are not taking action to ensure the upkeep of their own homes.

The most common neighbourhood issues identified by homeowners include untidy gardens or outdoor areas (34%), buildings in disrepair (18%) and outdoor spaces used as dumping grounds (18%). For one in five (20%), the problem is so bad they are even considering moving house.

The research revealed that a minority of young homeowners, just a quarter (25%) of those aged 25-34, believe that the maintenance of the outside of the house is important, compared to 61% of 65-74 year olds – leading to a range of potential issues.

Concern over unsightly neighbourhoods is also leading to financial worries, as one in ten (12%) think the value of their home will decrease as a result of its surroundings. The research suggests this is a valid concern as the most important factor people take into account when looking for a new property is whether it is well-maintained on the outside (55%), while 53% prioritise it being in a well-preserved neighbourhood.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds Bank Insurance, said: “Homeowners place a high value on their outdoor spaces, yet there is a significant lack of investment in the upkeep of these spaces. It is important that homeowners take care of their properties, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also to prevent the risk of maintenance problems such as damp, leaking roofs, and poor guttering, which, if left, can be expensive issues to rectify.”