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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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In 2008/09, only 9% of all households in England (2.0 million) had moved to their current homes within the previous 12 months - the lowest number since records began in 1994/95, according to the latest chapter of Social Trends, published this week by the Office for National Statistics.

Between 2007 and 2008 the number of property sales over £40,000 in the UK fell by 44% from 1.6 million to 900,000 due to the recession. The picture was similar across the English regions and Wales with property transactions falling by between 42% and 48%. The number of transactions in Scotland fell by less (33%), while in Northern Ireland they fell by more (61%).

In 2009 the average price paid for a dwelling in the UK was £194,235, down 8.1% on 2008. Changes in the average price paid for a dwelling over the same period varied very little between England and Wales, at 8.4 and 8.2% respectively. However, Scotland saw a smaller decrease (2.6%), while Northern Ireland a much larger one (15.7%).

British Bankers' Association figures show that in the last 12 years the number of loans approved for house purchase peaked in March 2002 at 92,912. The number of loans approved in July 2007, the month before the credit freeze began was 62,363. However, approvals fell rapidly to reach a low of 17,421 in November 2008.

The average value of mortgages for house purchase peaked in June 2007 in the UK at £159,600 before decreasing to a low of £116,100 in December 2008.

The number of repossessions reached its peak in 1991 when 75,500 properties were repossessed. Repossessions then fell to reach a low in 2004 of 8,200. Since 2004 repossessions have increased nearly six-fold to 47,900 in 2009.

Despite the increases in repossessions, a Flash Eurobarometer report in 2010 found that 57% of UK adults felt that there was no risk at all of falling behind with either rent or mortgage payments, while 37% felt that there was either a low or moderate risk and just 6% a high risk.

It's a shame that these figures are not more up-to-date as although they're the latest available, things have moved on since then.However, one advantage of this is that the KBB industry will have recorded its own trends. What I'd like to know is, the effect trends such as these recorded here, have on people ordering new kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms...

When people move into a new home, do they automatically covet a new bathroom or kitchen, because, for example, the one they've inherited has been used by someone else and as a result, will never feel quite clean enough? Or if whatever they've inherited is in decent condition and suits their tastes, are they happy to live with it?
Are kitchens and bathrooms in repossessed homes in such a state of disrepair that they simply have to be replaced (or indeed have they been ripped out and sold on the second hand market by the soon-to-be-repossessed)?
Are vendors of properties being persuaded by their estate agents that they need to replace their current kitchens and bathrooms if they want to secure a quick sale? Or are they being told that the new buyer would prefer to "put their own stamp" on the property?

With more people now needing to rent their homes as they're unable to secure a mortgage, are landlords fitting new kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms with a view to attracting a better type of tenant, or are they sticking with what they already have, knowing that there's such a shortage of rental properties on the market that the tenants will be fighting over what's available, whatever state it's in?
Is the fact that interest rates have remained low for so long, encouraging householders to refurbish their homes or are they using the extra cash to repay their mortgages early?

Do KBB manufacturers, retailers and fitters ever ask why customers are buying these items... not just why they're buying the particular range they've chosen, but why they're buying at all?

If you have the answers to any of these questions, or even an opinion on them, I'd love to hear from you. For surely, if the various trends just highlighted by the ONS do actually impact on our industry, it would be worthwhile paying greater attention to them... 




Jan Hobbs


11th February 2011

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