Will the property freeze prompt a DIY boom?

May 2020

Research by tradesperson comparison site, HaMuch.com, suggests that Britain could be in for a DIY boom should the property market freeze, brought on by the measures introduced to combat Coronavirus, persist.

While many turn to DIY to improve a new home, many also look to renovate and improve their existing home to cut out the costs of moving.  With transactions predicted to tumble amid the current lockdown, this could result in a boom for the DIY sector.

HaMuch.com looked at the last time the market saw a drastic decline during the 2008 recession and how this compared to data on the DIY sector.  Between 2008 and 2011, before the market recovered, total property transactions fell by an average of 1.1% per year, with a 3.7% drop between the total transactions seen in 2008 and 2011.

Over the same period, retail sales of decorating and DIY supplies climbed year-on-year at a rate of 6.9%.  In addition, the turnover of retail sales for hardware, paint, and glass in specialised stores also increased by 3.3% on average each year.

However, when the market recovered in 2012, property transactions climbed 5.5% in one year, while DIY retail sales fell by a huge 25.9%.  Retail sales of hardware, paint, and glass also fell 4.3% in a single year.

Founder and CEO of HaMuch, Tarquin Purdie, commented: “We all like to save money with some DIY where we can and while we do so when moving to a new home, this is often executed over a number of years bit by bit.  However, with many now worried about the future of the property market and the value of their home, as they were during the previous recession, it’s very likely we will see a large uplift in the number of people opting to stay put and improve their current property instead of moving to a new one.”

“When doing so it’s important to remember a few things. Plan ahead, double-check measurements, colours and fittings and carry out the work once.  Don’t opt for the cheapest materials available, these will only result in a shabby finish and forking out a little bit more is still far cheaper than moving house altogether.  Never attempt anything above your skill set or that could be potentially dangerous. The best-case scenario is you screw it up, waste money and have to re-do it. The worst-case scenario is serious injury or death.”

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