19 Jun Home Improvement and the EU Referendum
We recently commissioned a piece of research to delve into public opinions of Brexit a year on from the EU referendum. More specifically, we asked about attitudes towards the housing and home improvement markets.
The results were clear; people are worried. 27% of Brits are too scared to buy and sell their homes, which isn't surprising considering even more of us (39%) think the economy will be worse off after Brexit. It seems that since the EU referendum was announced, Brits have battened down the hatches and stayed put.
As a player in the home improvement market, we can only speak from our experience and what the last year has shown us is that our customers aren't concerned about Brexit, they're concerned about moving to a new house in general. In the last few years (before Brexit was a speck on the horizon) there's been a huge surge in people favouring home improvement over a house move.
Compared to generations gone by, the cost of buying has rocketed and on top of house prices, stamp duties and moving fees can often make the option completely unrealistic. Instead, many people have been investing in adding space to their own home – rather than moving to buy more space – and in the process adding longer term value. Once upon a time, gardens were a huge selling point of a house – they were all the rage. Now, they are often seen as an opportunity to extend; to make more of the space we have and open up what we have to create more spacious living.
The main differentiator, perhaps, between us and many of our home improvement counterparts is that our business is built on a foundation of British manufacturing. We don't have international transport routes to consider and cost up, so our business is far less likely to be affected by European trading deals. This industry consideration isn't something that's gone unnoticed by the public, over 50% of Brits saying they're now more likely to support British manufacturing than before Brexit announced. This is obviously great news in itself for our economy and a great silver lining to Brexit concerns, because growth in our UK industries means more jobs and hence more disposable income ready to be spent back into the economy.
Ultimately, businesses like ours are built on relationships with both suppliers and customers. As long as businesses do their jobs with championing relationships and maintaining honest dialogue, they shouldn't be too affected by any Brexit negotiations.