Home Improvement Levels Show Property Market Recovery
Consumer spend in the home improvement market was up by 20 per cent in September and October compared with August, according to RatedPeople.com, the UK’s largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen, which has prompted cautious optimism of an end to the prolonged downturn in the property market.
The figures are taken from the RatedPeople.com Home Improvement Index of over 108,000 home improvement jobs posted; a monthly barometer of the UK home improvement market, reflecting home improvement projects spanning 24 trade categories across the UK.
Although year on year 2009 figures remain 10 per cent down on the previous year, the marked increase across the sector as a whole bucks the trend and is the first significant increase for some time.
Interestingly the index shows that specific sectors are flourishing; demand for plumbing services in Q4 2009 are up 40 per cent on Q3 although the total number of plumbing jobs undertaken is still 20 per cent below this period last year.
However in addition to the quantity of jobs undertaken, the RatedPeople.com Home Improvement Index shows that the nature of the work undertaken is also undergoing substantial change, with money spent on the average plumbing job up a significant 30 per cent as home owners look set to replace, rather than repair; further evidence perhaps of consumer confidence in financial outgoings and the desire to save on energy costs and reduce carbon footprints.
Despite overall work volumes in 2009 lagging behind the 2008 figures, further signs of the market recovery are evidenced by the year on year increase in work for the decorating and gardening trades, both expecting to finish the year 15 per cent up.
Andrew Skipwith, CEO, RatedPeople.com said:
"These figures will certainly add fuel to the rumour that the property market is back on the way up and with interest rates remaining low, which is particularly beneficial for first time buyers or those on tracker mortgages, there is genuine cause for optimism. The Home Improvement Index is a substantial study of the Home Improvement market across the UK from both a consumer and trade perspective. It's great that specific trades are flourishing - and not uncommon to expect some fluctuation during periods of economic instability. However, the overall figures for September and October suggest a change in theme and that’s something many will be hoping for in the run up to Christmas."
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