HBL Retail: British consumers use loans to invest in property

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sainsbury's loans book shows that one in five personal loans (21%) are being used to pay for home improvements and investing in their homes despite the difficult economic climate.

Home improvements accounted for 20.2 per cent of the total value of personal loans taken out in the UK, showing a slight increase from the 20.1 per cent of the total value last year. However, the average value of a personal loan taken out for home improvements has declined, from £8,827 in 2010 to £8,318.

Sainsbury’s Finance estimates that in 2010, the total value of personal loans taken out across the UK solely for home improvements was almost £3.2 billion and if the current trend continues, it predicts that it is likely to be a similar figure this year.

“Our analysis suggests that UK homeowners are continuing to spend money on home improvements and the average spend is marginally more than last year. The decision to invest more in their homes could be due to a number of reasons, perhaps some are aiming to increase the value of their home, or maybe others have been unable to move up the property ladder so are improving their existing home until they can do so.” said Steven Baillie, Head of Loans at Sainsbury’s Finance