Home improvement lending soars

Amanda Jarvis

September 18, 2002

Furthermore, driven by the lowest personal loan interest rates experienced since the mid ‘60s and rapidly rising house prices, the home improvement lending market is expected to grow strongly over the next few years, according to Datamonitor. However, the market experiences strong regional variations. For example, households in the South of England (not including Greater London) are far more likely to undertake a major home improvement than their Northern or Scottish counterparts. Although relatively few Greater London households undertake major projects in comparison to other UK regions, Greater London has experienced the greatest increase in home improvements in the first six months of 2002.

The type of home improvement undertaken has also changed in recent years, with conservatories replacing garages as the UK's most popular home improvement in 2001. Turning a bedroom into a bathroom or building an en-suite bathroom has also rapidly grown in popularity in the last five years, and now accounts for over 6% of all major home improvements. Some regional variations exist. For example, in London, due to the lack of space to build extensions or add conservatories, dormers and standard loft conversions are by far the most popular form of home improvement, accounting for almost 40% of all projects undertaken.

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