Homeowners prioritise home improvements over paying off debt

Michael Lloyd

April 11, 2019

Home improvements rank in the top five long-term financial objectives for homeowners, beating the likes of paying off debt, with almost two thirds (63%) prioritising this in their future planning, according to research by Just Group.

Other top priorities homeowners have when trying to balance their long-term financial goals include being financially comfortable in retirement (89%), maintaining their current lifestyle (87%), preparing for later life and retirement (74%), and health care provision in older age (74%).

Stephen Lowe, Just Group communications director, said: “Everyone’s long term financial priorities are different, and for most of us, deciding how to meet them is a careful balancing act.

“Our specialist equity release advisers regularly meet customers who want to make their bricks and mortar work harder for them and use some of the value in their property to fund long-term goals like home improvements.

“There are lots of good reasons to do this but when thinking about home improvements there are other considerations to take into account.

“Seeking the right advice is crucial to ensuring you fully understand the impact this decision may have, not only on your property value but on the value of the inheritance you can leave behind. It may also affect your tax situation and entitlement to State benefits, particularly as you approach retirement.”

When choosing where to spend their limited resources, homeowners’ other long-term goals, such as leaving an inheritance (50%), achieving a better work-life balance (51%) and paying off debt (50%) are being pushed lower down the list.

Home-owning millennials are the biggest advocates of home improvements, ranking homes over holidays in their long-standing financial goals.

Almost three quarters (72%) of homeowners in their 20s and 30s prioritise fixing up their homes compared to just over half (56%) who aim to increase their spending on luxuries and holidays.

In addition, retirement and long-term care (73%) is surprisingly high on the list of priorities for this younger age group.

Homeowners aged 60 plus tend to focus on care costs (79%) and maintaining their current lifestyle (92%).

However, home improvements are still of high importance amongst this age group, with just over half (52%) listing it as a priority for their long-term financial goals.

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