North West Sees Fastest Home Improvement Growth

Home improvement figures across North West England increased last year with almost 37,000 planning applications submitted, an increase of 9 per cent, resulting in the biggest jump of any region in Great Britain.

The ‘Home Improvers of Great Britain 2018’ report, compiled by construction industry analysts Barbour ABI, shows that for every 100 private homes, the North West had on average 1.4 home improvement applications in 2017. Despite having the biggest jump in applications, the region was still below the British average of 2.1, largely due to a high number of applications coming from London and the South East.

In this year’s report, the district of Trafford took the top spot of boroughs in the home improvement league in the North West, narrowly beating last year’s top district, Ribble Valley. Other significant movers in the top ten were Eden, moving up six places to take third, and South Lakeland which didn’t make the top ten last year but reached fifth place in this year’s rankings.

At the lower end of the scale, Blackpool continues to prop up the bottom of the list of districts for home improvements in the North West, with just one application made each year for home improvements for every 250 private homes – the lowest rate in Great Britain.

Loft improvements
The surge of activity in the North West, epitomised by areas of Greater Manchester, has supported the strongest growth in the northern regions of England for loft improvements, up 20 per cent over five years.

The bulk of home improvement activity unsurprisingly rests on extensions, particularly rear single-storey extensions, which have seen a 38% rise over the past five years in the region.

The Office for National Statistics Family Spending survey suggests that households in the North East spent an average of £1,300 annually across 2016 and 2017, which totals to about £3.7 billion spent in the region.

Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI – “The tussle at the top between Ribble Valley and Trafford reflects the different drivers of home improvement activity in the region overall. Ribble Valley echoes the push for home improvement in more wealthy, rural and picturesque spots populated generally by more mature households, whereas the impetus that comes from rising incomes and house price among younger urban households is in places like Trafford.”

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