Homeowners in London, Birmingham, Newcastle most ‘house proud’ even in lockdown

Homeowners from London, Birmingham, and Newcastle are more 'house proud' than any other area of the UK, even after almost a year trapped indoors.

Researchers explored the nation's love for their homes, taking a detailed look at a host of factors including money spent on their dwellings, time spent doing DIY and the number of unfinished jobs.

Based on the responses of 2,000 homeowners, 15 cities were awarded points which were then tallied up, with the capital emerging as the most house proud.

In the past year, Londoners have spent more on their homes than any other city – £3,778.03 on average – and called on more tradespeople.

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They also watched TV programmes about décor and property for an hour and 48 minutes per week, longer than anyone else.

On top of this, Londoners also spent the most time looking online for home improvement and inspiration during an average week at one hour and 49 minutes.

The research was commissioned by Checkatrade for its Home Pride Index report, which found 54% love their home more now than ever before, even after months trapped inside thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, environmental psychologist at the University of Surrey, who worked with Checkatrade on the Home Pride Index report, said: "Personalisation through decoration, renovation, and upkeep can increase our sense of being attached – meaningfully connected – to the home.

"Feeling attached or connected to important places in our lives, such as the home, is important for psychological wellbeing and is positively related to mental health.

"Being attached to a place goes hand-in-hand with having positive memories and feeling happy and relaxed, belonging to a community, feeling secure and comfortable, and having opportunities for personal freedom and growth.''

Newcastle, which came second, earned the most points for the number of DIY jobs completed.

Third-placed Birmingham also fared well, scoring consistently high without coming top in individual categories.

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Meanwhile, adults living in Manchester spent the longest cleaning and tidying their homes in 2020 – a total of 20 hours and 15 minutes a month.

In comparison, those in Liverpool set aside the least amount of time at just over 15 and a half hours a month.

The Checkatrade study carried out through OnePoll also found 58% consider the living room to be the heart of the home, so much so that 32% said making it 'perfect' is their main priority.

The living room (26%) is also the area of the home people are most proud of, with the kitchen (16%) in second spot.

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The past 12 months has also seen adults adapting their homes in less traditional ways, as 7% had a 'shoffice' built – an office in a shed – while six per cent created their own mini cinemas.

But 79% think there's room for improvement in their homes — three in 10 are looking to redecorate several rooms, 23% think their garden needs a revamp and 22% hope to replace flooring.

In fact, 47% are more eager now than ever before to carry out DIY or get work done on their homes.

According to Checkatrade's own search data, the most popular services in 2020 in comparison to 2019 were building, electrical and landscaping.

MOST POPULAR HOME SERVICES 2020

  1. Building +63%
  2. Electrical +56%
  3. Landscaping +55%
  4. Plumbing +48%
  5. Painting +37%
  6. Central Heating +34%
  7. Gutter Repair +18%
  8. Roofing +13%

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TOP 15 MOST HOUSE-PROUD CITIES

  1. London – 121 points
  2. Newcastle – 114 points
  3. Birmingham – 113.5 points
  4. Leeds – 95 points
  5. Southampton – 88 points
  6. York – 84 points
  7. Bristol – 81 points
  8. Plymouth – 80 points
  9. Manchester – 72 points
  10. Glasgow – 66 points
  11. Liverpool – 63.5 points
  12. Sheffield – 63 points
  13. Edinburgh – 62 points
  14. Leicester – 49 points
  15. Norwich – 48 points

BREAKDOWN BY CATEGORY

MONEY SPENT ON RENOVATING A HOME:

  • Most: London
  • Least: Norwich

MONEY SPENT ON HOMES GENERALLY:

  • Most: London
  • Least: Manchester

TIME SPENT CLEANING, TIDYING AND ORGANISING THE HOME:

  • Most: Manchester
  • Least: Liverpool

NUMBER OF UNFINISHED DIY JOBS

  • Most: Norwich
  • Least: Leeds

NUMBER OF 'HOME AND DIY' SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS FOLLOWED:

  • Most: Leeds
  • Least: Norwich

AMOUNT OF TIME ON AVERAGE SPENT WATCHING HOME-RELATED TV PROGRAMMES

  • Most: London
  • Least: Edinburgh

AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT BROWSING/SHOPPING/RESEARCHING ONLINE FOR HOME-RELATED THINGS:

  • Most: London
  • Least: Edinburgh

NUMBER OF DIY JOBS COMPLETED IN 2020:

  • Most: Newcastle
  • Least: Plymouth

NUMBER OF TRADESPEOPLE USED IN 2020:

  • Most: London
  • Least: Sheffield

AMOUNT OF TIME PLANNING AND RESEARCHING DÉCOR AND DIY:

  • Most: London
  • Least: Sheffield

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