£11 billion borrowed to improve homes

Posted on: 26 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

14% of all borrowing is for home and garden improvements 3 million adults in the UK borrowing to improve their home. The average amount borrowed is £4,350 per borrower.

As property prices continue to grow, new research by Marks & Spencer Financial Services shows that approximately £11 billion is borrowed to finance home improvements.

  • 14% of all borrowing is for home and garden improvements
  • 3 million adults in the UK borrowing to improve their home
  • The average amount borrowed is £4,350 per borrower

As property prices continue to grow, new research by Marks & Spencer Financial Services shows that approximately £11 billion is borrowed to finance home improvements. Nearly three million adults in the UK are borrowing money to improve our homes, spending on average £5960.

Over one in ten (14%) of all borrowings are for home improvements. It is women who lead the way in borrowing to improve their homes with 17% borrowing money for this purpose compared to only 12% of men.

Furthermore those reaching the 'empty nest' stage are the most likely to be borrowing to make changes to their property. For one in five borrowers aged 45-55 years, home and garden improvements top the list of reasons for borrowing, perhaps to refurbish and update their home once their children have left.

Overall the Borrowing Britain Report shows that four out of 10 people in the UK currently have some form of unsecured borrowing, including personal loans, credit cards or store cards, and bank overdrafts. The average amount of unsecured borrowing is £4,350.

Mick O'Neill, Director of Credit at Marks & Spencer Financial Services, said; "Historically we have always taken pride in our homes, but now with rising property prices many people are deciding to improve what they have rather than moving up the property ladder".

Other statistics from the Borrowing Britain report

  • 44% of men have a personal loan, a credit card or store card, and/or bank overdraft compared to 36% of women
  • Over a quarter of borrowers expect to pay off their debts, not including mortgaged, within three months
  • Those aged 25-44 are more comfortable with the concept of borrowing than any other age group
  • 41% of the population still say that they will save up to buy things, one in ten say that they prefer to borrow immediately and a further 20% combine saving and borrowing to purchase an item.

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