DIY spending reaches six year high of £5.5 billion

22 May 2015

  • Household spending on DIY reaches £5.5 billion in 2014.
  • Spending increased by 10% in 2014, reaching highest levels since 2008.
  • Total spending on home maintenance (DIY and tradesmen's services) increased by 8% to £6.9 billion in 2014.

Spending on DIY increased by 10% in 2014, taking it to its highest level since 2008, according to research by Lloyds Bank1. Households spent a total of £5.5 billion on DIY in 2014 – equivalent to around £200 per household. There was a rise of 10% in real terms(i.e. after allowing for inflation) from the total of £5 billion spent in 2013. Whilst this was the highest annual total for six years (£6 billion in 2008), it was still 19% below its peak of £6.8 billion in 2008 and 9% lower than a decade ago (£6.1 billion in 2004).

Spending on both DIY tools and materials rose in 2014

Expenditure on tools and equipment for home improvements, ranging from plumbing tools to the lawnmowers, increased by 9% from £4 billion in 2013 to £4.4 billion in 2014. Real spending on DIY materials rose by 10% from £1 billion to £1.1 billion.

However, there is little change in spending on tradesmen

Expenditure on tradesmen's services, at £1.4 billion, increased very slightly (+1%) between 2013 and 2014. This means that for every £1 spent on tradesmen, almost £4 (£3.92) is spent on DIY tools and materials, showing how important DIY is to UK households.

Overall home maintenance spending up by 8% in 2014

Total spending on home maintenance (i.e. DIY and tradesmen's services) increased by 8% to £6.9 billion in 2014 from £6.4 billion in 2013. This was the third successive annual increase, taking overall spending on home maintenance to its highest level since 2008 (£7.2 billion).

The past ten years have demonstrated how spending on home maintenance has a strong link to the performance of the housing market. Spending reduced by around 36% between the height of the housing market in 2007 (£8.3 billion), and the bottom of the market in 2011 (£6.1 billion). As the housing market picked up between 2011 and 2014, spending on DIY increased by 13% again to bring home maintenance spending closer to 2004 levels.

Andy Hulme, Lloyds Bank Mortgages Director, said:

The latest figures provide further evidence that people are continuing to increase their spending on DIY and home improvements as the economy and housing market pick up, with DIY spending increasing by 10% in the last year. This followed a sharp fall in spending between 2007 and 2011, which reflected the worst of the economic and housing downturns during this period."

Home maintenance spending 5% lower than in 2004

Total spending on home maintenance is 5% lower than ten years’ ago, at £6.9 billion in 2014 against £7.2 billion in 2004. This decline has been entirely due to a fall in expenditure on materials, which declined by more than a third (-35%) over the decade. In contrast, spending on tradesmen’s services rose by 20% whilst spending on tools in 2014 was at the same level as in 2004.