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The Home Improvement Report 2023 Edition

Learn more about our Home
Improvement Intelligence

The latest update to our long-standing Home Improvement Report covering the major trends in planning applications over 2022

  • Home improvement activity under extraordinary economic and social disruptions
  • Trends seen and why
  • Regional analysis: where is activity happening and what?
  • The near-term prognosis

Key highlights for 2022

  • All regions saw a sharp, but expected, drop in planning applications from the peak in 2021 ranging from 16% in London, to 26% in the North East.
  • While planning applications are still above pre-pandemic levels, there’s a decline in numbers concerning loft conversions, home improvement applications, and extensions when compared to 2021 levels.
  • Between 2020-2022, London accounted for 18.7% of all home improvement applications in Britain. Although approval rates are lower than the national average, London still tops the list for successful applications per 1,000 homes.
  • Growing factors in home improvement are likely to be improvements that reduce energy consumption.

Energy Efficiency Driving Home Improvement Activity

One of the most significant shifts in the home improvement market in 2022 was the resurgence of energy-efficient installations. Due to the demand in energy efficiency and the subsequent desire to cut energy costs, planning applications for insulation and solar panels in home improvement activity has grown spectacularly. Insulation planning applications have more than doubled since 2019, similarly, solar panels have risen threefold.

Helping to drive this surge in activity is the growing evidence that greener homes now carry a dividend. Consumers are realising that while cutting energy costs they are also investing in home improvement which will be consolidated into their house price.

Whilst the number of home improvement planning applications for most home-improvement types has fallen, there are signs of solar panel and insulation installations to look forward to.

Introducing the Home Improvement Partnership

At Barbour ABI we recognise that the Home Improvement industry will be critical to meeting the challenges of the future – for example retrofitting the nation’s homes will be critical to meeting climate change goals. We are committed to improving the industry’s intelligence.

The Home Improvement Partnership is a collaboration between the National Home Improvement Council and the Federation of Master Builders and Barbour ABI. It produces and disseminates insight into Home Improvement, increasing knowledge and raising the sector’s profile as a critical construction industry.
Anna Scothern, CEO of NHIC, said “We are thrilled to be partnering with them on this initiative and look forward to our members benefiting from their knowledge.”

Coming soon: the Home Improvement Report Platform

The Home Improvement Platform will be a comprehensive insight platform that is a one-stop shop for all your home improvement and small-scale repair and maintenance strategic needs, presented in an intuitive and interactive dashboard solution. The platform will cover over 40 categories of activity, including:

  • Internal and external home improvement
  • Single house builds
  • Renewable energy

Insights will be available down to a granular geospatial level and include the historical time series of planning applications and planning approvals as well as estimates of construction output and forecasts.

Learn more about our Home Improvement Intelligence

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