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The Home Improvement Index 2024

Regional Profiles: North East

Northumberland strengthened its top position in the North East regional rankings. It was the region’s only local authority that didn’t see the ratio of home-improvement applications to private homes fall between pre-pandemic 2019 and 2023.

North East - Change in applications by type 2022 & 2023

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Overall, the region saw the biggest fall in applications in England. Only Wales saw a bigger drop. Low house prices relative to the rest of Britain and recent falls in prices will inevitably be inhibiting investment in home improvement. The signs are that the cost-of-living crisis is impacting harder on the North East than elsewhere. Economically the region is the weakest on a per-capita basis, its relatively low overall earnings and poorer income growth will exacerbate the challenges faced by households. A more than 20% drop in applications for extensions since 2019 will hit the region’s home improvement market, although applications for loft works have been more resilient and remained above the 2019 level last year.

North East - Regional Home improvement apps per 1k private homes

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While the region did see a rise in applications for solar panels in line with the national average, unlike the rest of Britain the number of applications mentioning insulation fell. However, albeit from a low base, the level of applications for home offices remained well above pre-pandemic levels.

North East - Average House price at Dec 2023 & annual change

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North East - Top 10 Districts for home improvement

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*The rankings are based on the number of home improvement applications, as defined by Barbour ABI (see methodology), per 1,000 private homes. Given the impacts of the pandemic, 2023 is compared with 2019 as benchmark.

North East - Share of regional applications involving key types in 2023

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*Note: A single application may include any number of the above key types

North East - Regional spending on alterations and improvement to homes over 2021 and 2022

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Source: ONS Family Expenditure Survey.
Caveat: The data can vary significantly year to year given sample the sizes. This is partially smoothed in our use of the data by taking an average over two years.

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