With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the UK to stay in their homes, 55% of which had to rearrange their spare room into a new office space in order to work remotely, it’s ultimately resulted in an increased demand for home offices and workspaces, as well as general decorating as people now spend more time indoors and in their gardens.
With this trend to continue post-pandemic as, according to the Harvey Nash Tech Survey 2021, 79% of tech workers have revealed that they would want to continue to work from home three to five days a week after the pandemic.
In addition to this, money.co.uk’s 2020 Renovation Nation Report announced that, through having to spend more time at home, 65% of UK homeowners have been inspired to invest in renovations on their houses.
Overall, homeowners jumped at the chance to overhaul multiple rooms of their home, with 63% of those who took part in the survey, invested in their home to make it more comfortable, aside from that, 27% did it to increase the value of their home.
The kitchen was a primary spot that was highly invested in, as not only did it double up as an office space for many but it meant homeowners could create a space which could be used for socialising – when possible of course.
Many homeowners decided to transform attic space into lounge areas or even home bars which could replace the pub altogether and for those who wanted to get active, spare rooms turned into home gyms, allowing for people to stay fit whilst staying indoors.
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Throughout the course of the COVID lockdown the UK has seen an increase in spending on home improvements with more than £55 billion being spent on renovations since last march (This is over £4000 on each home).
This increase in spending has seen household goods stores report sales almost 10% higher than pre-pandemic, according to the Office of National Statistics. A large proportion of the home improvements spending has come from people looking for DIY projects to do within the home, as many young people have taken to social media on the hunt for DIY tips.
This increased interest in DIY can be seen in some of the key financial reporting from B&Q and their parent group, Kingfisher. Throughout the Lockdown period B&Q have reported an 11% increase in sales as well as Kingfisher reporting a huge 158% increase in web sales over the course of the year!
These web sales have accounted for almost 18% of all group sales, which is up from 8% before the pandemic. In addition to these figures Kingfisher announced that click and collect sales have risen 226% and are now accounting for more than three quarters of all group ecommerce sales.
Despite the numbers for home improvement looking promising as a result of COVID, the house building industry has taken a hit as a result of the restrictions. It is predicted that, in the short term, the sector will decline by around 20%. However, the long term predictions for house building look promising with some experts predicting growth rates of 4-6% up to 2024.
In contrast, the home improvements and DIY sectors have seen an uptick in sales and interest over the last year. This increase, as previously discussed, comes as a result of the stay at home orders set out by the government and therefore created an increased demand for amenities such as home offices and workspaces.
Although this has done wonders for the sector these figures are not predicted to remain, as the industry is predicted to return to normal levels within the coming years.