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The rise of home improvement


Whether it’s a new fitted kitchen, a loft extension or the installation of some smart tech, there are lots of ways that your customers can improve their home. But how has the home improvement market changed over the years? And what does this mean for your business?

In recent years, more and more people are choosing to stay put and improve their home. According to a Renovations and Extensions Report 2018 by Hiscox, the number of homeowners choosing to improve their homes rather than move has risen fivefold since 2013*. Understanding your customer, their wants and concerns can help you tailor an offering that best suits their needs.

The Drivers

Home improvement is becoming more popular, but why are your customers choosing it over moving? Hiscox reported that for more than a third (36%) it’s about their personal circumstances* and for a quarter, economic factors such as house prices play a key role*. Despite rising house prices, improving a home can also be an expensive decision. ‘’By offering your customers the option of finance, you can help them to create their ideal home,’’ said Tony Lilley at Shawbrook Bank.

The Hiscox report also found that renovations used to be about improving functionality such as an outdated bathroom with a broken shower or an extension to create more space for a growing family. However, although home improvements can still be practical, a third (34%) admitted to renovating to keep up with home fashions and design trends*.

Making smart choices

The most popular choice of renovation was revealed as the bathroom at 54% and the kitchen a very close second with 51% of homeowners currently undertaking or planning an improvement*. Eco-friendly renovation is becoming popular as awareness surrounding social issues increases with 20% of millennials using eco-features, fabric or technology*. ‘’For example,’’ said Tony, ‘’Many of our customers have chosen to finance solar panels to reduce energy usage and bills.’’

YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 report indicated that 23% of Britons own one or more smart home devices (excluding smart meters)**. With improved technology, smart home devices such as smart lighting, security, speakers and thermostats are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to enhance your customer’s home.


The hassle of home improvement

Whether you’ve had a renovation completed or not, we all know some of the horror stories that can happen as a result. Overambitious timelines and overspend are some of the concerns your customers can face with an improvement to their home. According to Hiscox, 35% of past home improvers experienced delays in project completion, averaging three months*. Not only this but many projects go over budget, therefore offering your customers the option of finance could reduce the pressures of home improvement. It’s estimated that today’s renovators are working to a budget of around £16,100 for each project with one in five (18%) expecting to invest upwards £25,000*.

Improving a home is generally a big purchase and considered decision for your customers. The right selection of finance products, available at point of sale can enable you to offer your customers different options, which are best suited to their needs and can reduce the stresses of home improvement. At Shawbrook, we have provided finance solutions in the home improvement sector since 2011. We continue to support and understand our partners and customers, providing a finance offering that is simple, clear and easy to use.

As a specialist lender, we differentiate ourselves by concentrating on carefully chosen markets where our extensive industry experience and personalised approach offer us a competitive advantage. Fundamental to our success is a relationship focus which puts the interests of our customers and business partners at the heart of everything we do.

— Tony Lilley, Shawbrook Bank

* Hiscox Renovations and Extensions Report 2018

** YouGov Smart Homes 2018 Report