Home improvements set to increase

The editor of Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine has outlined his belief that the spring and summer could bring a renewed interest in home improvements.

Jason Orme believes that the better weather could see a return to last years levels as people take advantage of the longer days and better weather to carry out home improvements.

"With people not moving so much, you expect them to be willing to spend a bit more money on their house," he suggested.

"The weather (in January and February) was particularly bad, which is one reason why people arent thinking about going out or even spending money generally. I suspect with the better weather we might see an upsurge in those figures."

Figures from Sainsburys show that 424,000 loans, totalling over £4 billion, were issued in 2008 to go towards home improvements such as conservatories and loft conversions.

This statistic represents a 24 per cent increase on 2007 and goes some way to explaining why Homebase reported a 5.5 per cent drop in sales in the first two months of 2009 after such a buoyant year.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported a drop in house purchases, with only 23,400 taking place in January 2009 compared to 48,600 in the same month in 2008.