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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Rising rates 'increase DIY spend'
DIY painting
The Alliance and Leicester says more people will be decorating
The rise in UK interest rates has meant that a number of home owners have decided to spend more on improvements, rather than sell up and move.

Research carried out by the Alliance and Leicester bank, suggests the amount people intend to spend this summer will go up by 5% in the autumn.

The figure will rise from 1,208 to 1,270, according to the bank's Mortgage movingimproving index.

New carpets, curtains and furniture are the most popular home improvements.

Recent research by the bank suggested that the number of people intending to move home in the UK this autumn, will fall by 1% - from 5% in the summer to 4% in the autumn.

'Hold back'

Paul Cooper, head of mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, said: "We have seen a fall in the proportion of people planning to move house.

Adding new carpets, curtains or furniture - 29%
Painting - 19%
Garden improvements - 10%
New kitchen - 7%
New bathroom - 6%
Source: Alliance and Leicester

"The increase in predicted DIY spend suggests that rising interest rates may be influencing buyers to hold back and focus on their properties until rates stabilise."

Earlier this month the Bank of England raised rates for the fifth time since last November to 4.75%.

And figures from the property website Rightmove, suggested that asking prices for homes in England and Wales fell by 2% in the five weeks to August 14.

Home furnishings

In a survey of 4,000 people, 29% of those questioned planned to spend their money on home furnishings, while 19% will be painting their homes.

One in 10 homeowners planned to improve their garden, 7% said they would install a new kitchen and 6% would prefer a new bathroom.

Other figures suggest that women are expected to spend 10% more on decorating their homes than men.

But the Alliance and Leicester says that married couples and people in their forties will spend the most, compared to single, separated and divorced home owners and those in their twenties.

Regionally, the survey indicates that households in the East Midlands will spend the highest - 1,590 as oppose to their neighbours in the West Midlands who intend to spend 1,050.

But people in the North and Scotland are the most likely to decorate.

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