Newly released figures shows that younger homeowners overspend by 10% more than planned, whereas those aged 65 or more spent 13% less than expected.
The latest market analysis by loans broker Norton Finance, asked 1,000 homeowners who had bought a house in the last five years to reveal how they budgeted and prioritised any extra spending in the first 12 months after moving in.
The research showed that putting their own style on their new property was the most important to Brits, as they spent nearly a quarter (23%) of the £13,016.89 average total on painting and decorating (£805.31), buying new furniture (£1251.63) and flooring (£1014.06). Bigger projects such as adding an extension or a conservatory, were the least commonly tackled home improvements.
Top five most common home improvements in the first year
1. Painting & Decorating - £805.31
2. Buying new furniture - £1251.63
3. Flooring - £1014.06
4. Gardening - £875.44
5. General Maintenance - £925.11
When it came budgeting, while Brits managed to spend an average of 1% less than they had planned, there were some stark generational differences.
The youngest house buyers aged 18-24 showed they were happy to ignore their budgets, forking out an unplanned £287.50 on flooring and £274.29 on new lighting, contributing to a 10% overspend totalling £1,103.21.
Those aged 65 or more showed that you most definitely can put a price on experience, coming in 13% under than their planned budgets, saving themselves £976.87.
It was those who had bought a brand-new home who had accrued the most expenses in their first year, spending an average of £19,506.51 on costs including £1,345.28 on energy saving improvements such as a new boiler, and a further £1373.68 on general maintenance and repairs.
In comparison to the rest of the country, Londoners almost doubled the national average spend, with £24,871.70 being spent after buying a new home, only £200 more than what they’d planned.
On the other hand, homeowners in the North West proved to be the most prudent with their pennies, underspending by 10% and saving £866.81 in the process.
Average first year spending on home improvements by region
• East of England - £7443.67
• East Midlands - £7854.24
• London - £24871.7
• North East - £8650.15
• North West - £9530.67
• Northern Ireland - £7840.59
• Scotland - £6648.01
• South East - £9739.86
• South West - £8508.21
• Wales - £8093.49
• West Midlands - £7392.84
• Yorkshire and the Humber - £6832.03
Paul Stringer, Managing Director at Norton Finance, said: “After the years of saving, the months of paperwork and the stress of moving, the feeling you get when you finally have the keys to your new home your own is unlike anything else.”
For younger buyers with less experience, sometimes the excitement of the blank canvas and walls to stamp their personality into this space can get the better of their budgeting skills, leading unplanned spending.
We hope that findings of our research inspires parents and grandparents to pass on the benefits of their experience to their children and that the figure can give a little more guidance for people of all ages who are planning their next move.”