Improvements on the home front top £6,000

HOMEOWNERS are investing in improving their properties and more than half have spent more than £6,000.

Around 56 per cent of people questioned said they had embarked on a home improvement project during the past 12 months, at an average cost of 6,362 – around 1,000 more than the previous year.

According to the Halifax survey, decorating was the most popular step taken to improve the look of a home with 65 per cent of respondents, while 37 per cent had carried out garden improvements.

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Just under a third had bought new carpets and 19 per cent had installed a new bathroom.

Six out of ten people said they had carried out the work to improve the look and design of their home, followed by 52 per cent who had done it to update and modernise their property. Unsurprisingly, the single most expensive improvement was replacing the kitchen, at an average cost of 6,609, followed by installing new windows or double glazing at 3,646 and putting in a new bathroom at 3,396.

Halifax said people also spent an average of 7,166 on other improvements, including extensions and loft conversions.

The most popular type of improvement, redecorating, set people back by an average of just 1,287, while garden improvements cost around 1,099, with people spending an average of 2,156 on new furnishings.

Homeowners who had lived in their property for between three and four years spent the most on home improvements during the past year at 9,481, while those who had lived in their home for more than ten years spent the least at 5,299.

Stephen Noakes, commercial director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "Our research shows that more and more homeowners are picking up their brushes and paint and using their creativity to improve their surroundings, particularly in this market where we are seeing less house purchases."