CHESHIRE OAKS, England, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- Income levels, holiday homes and grants shown as key influencers
- Westminster tops the table
- Attractive holiday destinations hold firm
- Government initiatives a make contribution
- National spending almost £27 billion a year on housing alterations and improvements but the amounts range widely region to region
Latest research from expert provider of market intelligence for the Built Environment sector, Barbour ABI, has revealed that Westminster tops the list of the local authorities in Great Britain for home improvements. It received the highest proportion of planning applications, with more than seven applications made to improve homes in Westminster for every 100 private homes in 2012.
Barbour ABI's new analysis across the English regions, Scotland and Wales, is being revealed tomorrow at property and construction industry show Ecobuild in London (5-7 March 2013 at ExCel).
Tunbridge Wells is second on the list of Top 25 Home Improvement districts.
Whilst areas in the south of England dominate the Top 25, it seems that this trend is getting stronger. London, the South East, East England and the South West all saw planning application in 2012, above the average over the past two years.
London saw a rise of 8.77%, which is in stark contrast to regions such as the North East where applications fell by about 6.02% from what was already a low base.
Loving living in Westminster and thrilled to be in Tonbridge Wells?
Westminster topped the Local Authorities receiving the highest proportion of planning applications in comparison to the stock of private homes. Figures for 2012 show that there were more than seven applications made to improve homes in Westminster for every 100 private homes.
That is four and a half times the average for Great Britain of 1.64.
Whilst the number of application for home improvements was a shade down in Westminster in 2012, compared with 2011, it was substantially up on the 2010 figures.
Second to Westminster is Tunbridge Wells with more than six applications for every 100 private homes in the Borough.
Income variants are a primary influencer
What is clear is the link between income and the levels of home improvement. The Top 25 table for home improvements is filled with many of the richest areas of Britain while the table showing the bottom 25 districts for home improvement includes many of Britain's poorest boroughs.
What is also evident is that while there seems to be an increase in home improvement in the richer parts of Britain, poorer boroughs have witnesses quite a sharp fall in applications for home improvements over the past year.
Attractive holiday destinations hold firm
The link between the average income for a district and the level of home improvement is not the core influencer everywhere.
In cottage holiday destinations, such as Cornwall, Dorset, Devon and North Norfolk, there is a lot more home improvement activity than the average earnings might otherwise suggest.
Government initiatives are key contributor
Central or local government initiatives can also make a difference to the number of applications submitted for home improvements. For instance, Blaenau Gwent, one of the poorest districts in Wales, saw applications for home improvements leap in 2012 to place it second in the table of home improvement districts in Wales.
In previous years it had been ranked towards the bottom. Much of this increase appears to be because of energy saving initiatives leading to an increase in such improvements as external wall insulation.
This may be a positive signal for the Government's recently introduced Green Deal.
The broader picture
Looking across Great Britain there was a dip in the number of applications for home improvements as the recession bit. But since Autumn 2009 there had been a steady increase - up to May 2012, when the trend seems to have turned downward.
The latest Government's Family Spending survey suggests that the average spend by households on altering and improving their homes on average was about £1,000 in the years 2010 and 2011.
This means that the nation was spending almost £27 billion a year on housing alterations and improvements.
But the amounts range widely region to region with families in London and the South East by far the biggest spenders, spending between them about £10 billion in 2011.
See Tables for Top 25 for home improvement.
Detailed regional information breakdowns are available from Barbour ABI for the following: East England, East Midlands, London, North East, North West, Scotland, South East, South West, Wales, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Top 25 districts for home improvement
2012 v 2010/11 District Region 2010 2011 2012 average Westminster LN 5.93 7.43 7.38 10.5 Tunbridge Wells SE 7.23 6.86 6.16 -12.7 South Bucks SE 5.12 5.53 5.30 -0.5 Uttlesford EE 4.71 5.32 5.13 2.3 St Albans EE 4.33 4.87 5.01 8.8 Kensington and Chelsea LN 3.42 3.98 4.79 29.4 Sevenoaks SE 4.32 4.52 4.61 4.4 Richmond upon Thames LN 3.69 4.37 4.45 10.5 Elmbridge SE 3.86 4.31 4.39 7.5 Hammersmith & Fulham LN 3.09 3.65 4.19 24.4 Chiltern SE 4.10 4.24 4.19 0.3 Camden LN 3.02 3.49 4.11 26.5 Windsor and Maidenhead SE 3.43 3.79 3.99 10.4 Three Rivers EE 3.10 3.82 3.82 10.3 Oxford SE 3.58 3.66 3.76 3.8 South Oxfordshire SE 3.39 3.37 3.75 11.1 South Hams SW 3.07 3.51 3.60 9.6 North Dorset SW 2.67 3.70 3.58 12.6 Guildford SE 2.59 3.40 3.48 16.0 Mole Valley SE 2.35 3.50 3.45 18.0 Welwyn Hatfield EE 2.40 3.09 3.37 22.7 West Oxfordshire SE 2.94 3.44 3.27 2.4 Waverley SE 3.23 3.70 3.23 -6.7 Wandsworth LN 2.80 3.10 3.22 9.0 Islington LN 2.41 3.25 3.20 13.3
The survey is based on the number of planning applications received by each authority compared with the estimate for the number private homes within that authority.
There are exclusions: National Parks, Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, London Legacy (the Olympic Park)
Also while calculations were done omitted from the lists are authorities where there are fewer than 10,000 private homes. These include City of London, Orkney, Shetlands).
Notes to editors
Barbour ABI is the leading provider of construction intelligence products, providing UK companies with sales leads, contact data, CRM software and market intelligence. Its reputation is built and maintained by the in house team of market researchers who have excellent working relationships with planning authorities and other relevant information providers, including Government departments.
Barbour ABI produces the CPA/Barbour ABI Index monthly alongside the Construction Products Association (CPA), and is the chosen data provider for the CPA Forecasting Panel.
Barbour ABI is part of UBM plc's specialist media division UBM Built Environment. UBM Built Environment is widely acknowledged as having some of the most iconic brands in the market, including Building, Property Week, Building Design (BD), RESI, Barbour Product Search, Public Property Summit, Sleep, Decorex, Interiors and Ecobuild.
SOURCE Barbour ABI