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European consumers spend € 245 billion on home improvement in first half of 2013

Consumer expectations for spending on home improvement in second half of 2013: 4% lower than first half

(PresseBox) (Rotterdam, ) In the first half of 2013 consumers in the European countries that are included in the European Home Improvement monitor spend 245 billion euro on home improvement. This amount includes materials that were purchased and costs for hiring professionals. Compared to Q1 consumers in the research area spend 27% more on home improvement in the second quarter of the year. This increase is mainly caused by spending on improvements to the exterior of the house and the garden which more than doubled in comparison with Q1. These are some of the results from the continuous European Home Improvement Monitor based on 6,000 online interviews among consumers during the first half of this year.

Seasonal influence causes € 13 billion increase in spending on garden

Since the European Home Improvement Monitor started this year, it is not possible to compare the first quarters of 2013 with 2012. However, if we compare results between Q1 and Q2 we can see a great difference in spending that was caused by seasonal influences. This is visible in investments to the exterior of the house and garden. In Q2 € 31 billion was spend by consumers in the 13 investigated countries on the improvement to the exterior of the home. In Q1 this was only € 14 billion. Consumer spending on bathroom products, the attic, installations, tools and interior of the house remain stable. Investments in the kitchen dropped by € 3 billion in Q2 compared to Q1. The investment in the garden showed relatively the largest growth. For improving the garden in the months April, May and June € 19 billion was spend which was three times as many as in the quarter before. Especially consumers in the Netherlands and the UK were making changes to their garden. In these countries about 30% of the households spend a certain amount on their garden in Q2.

Consumers expect to spend less on home improvement in the second half of 2013

Next to the spending of the past six months, consumers are also asked on their home improvement plans for the upcoming six months. Renovating a kitchen or placing a new floor in the house are usually planned some months before the actual purchase therefore expectations on these activities are very accurate. On the other hand home improvements like replacing a light bulb or repairing a hole in the roof are most of the time unexpected home improvement jobs. For making predictions on the development on the second half of this year we focused on the big home improvement plans of consumers in the 13 European countries and compared this with the money spent on home improvement in the first half of 2013. Expected spending is 4% lower than the actual spending on home improvement on the first half of 2013. However, if consumer confidence will rise in the upcoming months the European consumers might be more willing to invest in their homes. USP Marketing Consultancy will closely monitor this each month with the European Improvement Monitor.

The European Home Improvement Monitor

The European residential new build market currently has limited growth potential. Due to the economic recession the new build volumes have dropped dramatically. The renovation and refurbishment sector on the other hand has become relatively important and it is expected its importance will grow. There is a lot of information available about the DIY market and the renovation market in the professional segment. However, there's no source that provides insight in the size of the total home improvement market, so both jobs done by consumers and professionals, and the main trends in this market. The European Home Improvement Monitor is the first research that monitors the market size and main trends in the European home improvement market on a continuous basis.

Each month 1,000 successful interviews are conducted across Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In addition, the regions Scandinavia and Austria-Switzerland are also included in the research. This means that 12,000 interviews are conducted among European consumers on a yearly basis. The results from this research are reported on a quarterly basis and show the development of the market in terms of purchase volume and purchase channels. Furthermore, each quarter in-depth insight is given in topics which are actual in the market.