New KBC research shows 41% of Irish consumers plan home improvements

13/04/15

1/3 plan to stay put and renovate - 32% will spend over 5k.

With DIY season upon us, new research released by KBC Bank Ireland today shows that Irish consumers are on a home improvement buzz. 41% of Irish consumers are planning to tackle home improvements over the next 12-18 months with a further 23% having just completed home improvement work in the past year.

A desire to freshen up the home (63%) and create more storage space (30%) are among the main reasons for upcoming home improvements. Almost one-third (32%) of prospective DIY-ers said they want to invest in their home as they plan to stay there for a few years yet. Among those who carried out improvements in the past year, 28% had done so to increase their home’s energy efficiency.

The majority (68%) are planning to spend up to €5,000 on home improvements, while 32% are expecting to pay more than that. The number of customers planning to use a personal loan to finance their home improvements has doubled in the last year to 8%, with 5% planning to put the cost on credit card and 69% still intending to finance their home improvements from savings.

Looking to spend wisely, 73% of consumers are planning to shop around for home improvement quotes, similar behaviour of those who carried out work in the past 12 months when 77% confirmed that they had compared quotes for work.

To assist DIY-ers, KBC has launched a home improvement loan which offers very competitively priced loans from as little as €1,500 up to a maximum of €50,000. Customers have the opportunity to avail of the lowest rate in the market for loans over €10,000* and a fixed rate of repayment each month, making it easier to budget.

In addition, consumers can also avail of the Government Home Renovation Incentive Scheme, which entitles any home owner looking to improve their home to avail of a tax credit of 13.5% of qualifying expenditure.

Rob Hurley, Director of Consumer Finance, KBC Bank Ireland said: “It’s natural that people want to invest in their living space and make their house a home, as evidenced by the 41% of consumers planning home improvements in the next 12-18 months. While the mortgage market is more buoyant, there is also a group of customers for whom home improvement is a priority. KBC’s new research shows that these consumers are house proud, budget conscious and prepared to shop around. When it comes to choosing a personal loan, KBC makes it easier for DIY projects to get off the ground offering the lowest rate on the market for loans over €10,000 and the reassurance of fixed monthly repayments on our personal loans. This means customers can plan and budget with confidence for home improvements this year, however big or small.” 

Reflecting the growing popularity of home makeover shows, 53% said TV home improvement shows would be their main source of inspiration, up from 43% who cited it for work done in the past year. Unsurprisingly one in four (26%) name RTE’s Dermot Bannon their number one home improvement hero. Partners (26%) and Dads (11%) emerged heroic for those who completed DIY work in the past year!

A further 34% said they would look to magazine features for ideas compared to 23% last year. Casting the net wider, 42% said they will also use online channels including Pinterest and YouTube to gather tips and ideas, an increase on the 35% who did so while carrying out work within the past 12 months.

The kitchen/diner is the heart of the home and 39% are planning on making improvements to this important part of the house, while 38% are focusing their attention on the living room, followed closely by 34% on bedrooms.

Just 7% admit to having started a DIY project in the past only to find themselves out of their depth and unable to complete the job at hand.
 
Note to Editors:
Lending criteria, underwriting, terms and conditions apply. Home Improvement Loans are available up to a maximum value of €50,000. KBC Home Improvement Loan listed as the lowest unsecured loan for amounts over €10,000 by Bonkers.ie. 

The research was conducted by iReach on behalf of KBC Bank Ireland during the period 26th March to 2nd April using a nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults.