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Kingfisher announces the second instalment of its European Home Report

  • Rising energy prices are homeowners’ number one fear
  • Home improvement increasingly seen as a way to add value

LONDON, 2014-8-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kingfisher, the home improvement retailer whose businesses include B&Q and Castorama, has unveiled the second instalment of its European Home Report, two years on since the first:  a survey of 17,000 householders’ attitudes to home improvement, covering nine European countries.

Adapting the home

The latest report finds that Europe’s homes are bursting at the seams as changing lifestyles and demographics put our living spaces under more pressure than ever before. With UK homes the smallest in Europe, houses being built on smaller plots and rising trends such as working from home and children living longer with their parents, people are increasingly viewing their homes as a flexible, adaptable space that needs to change to accommodate shifting priorities:

  • More than three quarters (77%) of Europeans surveyed said their current home needs adapting to changing family needs
  • 22% said they need to create more space
  • 46% of people have, or would like, a home office

Financial fears driving energy agenda

The Kingfisher European Home Report also found that rising energy prices are by far the number one fear of European homeowners:

  • 65% of people say rising energy prices are their number one worry about the home. This is more than double the number worried about keeping up with the mortgage/rent (23%).

Rising energy bills are driving energy efficiency measures up the household agenda:

  • People are eight times more likely to prioritise energy efficient changes, compared with two years ago
  • Almost a third (31%) intend to update their homes’ energy efficiency, compared to just 4% in 2012

Value creation

Not only are homeowners looking to adapt their space for better lives, they are also looking increasingly to use home improvement to increase the value of their home:

  • The number of homeowners using home improvement to increase the value of their home has quadrupled from 17% in 2012 to 68% in 2014

Aspirational living

As well as changing homes for practical reasons, the report revealed that people also aspire to more. Asked about their motivation for doing home improvement, 39% said they want their home to show success and impress friends and 34% to “keep up with the Jones’”. And, perhaps indicative of increasing consumer confidence, the features most people want are swimming pools (28%), fireplaces (26%), conservatories (23%) and hot tubs (22%). In the UK, people desire en-suite bathrooms more than any other European country.

The DIY skill factor

There are signs that people are getting better at DIY, with their abilities improving since 2012. Despite this, many are ill-equipped to carry out minor household jobs:

  • 40% are not confident assembling flat pack furniture
  • Less than half are confident at unblocking a lavatory

As well as victory in football, Germany also wins the DIY cup – found to be both the most capable and confident nation, jointly with France. The UK comes in 5th place.

And finally… DIY can help you find love

Aside from intelligence, practicality around the house is the trait women most desire and value in a partner.

Sir Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc, commented:  “As lifestyles change and living costs rise, people want more and more from their home. The modern home increasingly needs to be a flexible, adaptable space that is able to evolve as our lives change. These days our homes need to be an office, an entertainment hub and a multi-generational living space.

“Despite worries about rising energy costs, the big increase in those looking to use their home as a wealth creator through doing home improvement shows people are more confident about their homes than they were just a couple of years ago.”

Commenting on the desire to improve energy efficiency, Sir Ian Cheshire added:

“Rising energy prices are a very real fear – right across Europe, a bigger concern even than worries about paying the rent or mortgage.

“There is a staggering increase in the number of people who intend to prioritise energy efficiency and it is soaring bills that is driving this agenda.”


DIY Confidence Can do Can’t do
Change a lightbulb 77% 23%
Painting 73% 27%
Assemble flat-pack furniture 60% 40%
Cut the lawn 57% 43%
Put up shelves 54% 46%
Unblock a toilet 54% 46%
Grow vegetables 54% 46%
Wallpapering 52% 48%
Fix a dripping tap 47% 53%
Lay carpets/flooring 34% 66%
Tiling 25% 75%
Build something out of wood 25% 75%
Plastering 24% 76%
General electric work 23% 77%
Lay bricks 17% 83%
DIY skills confidence leaderboard
1st Germany, France
3rd Poland
4th Russia
5th Spain, UK
7th Ireland
8th Romania
9th Turkey
Confidence in doing 22 common DIY tasks

UK highlights

  • Most likely nation to buy DIY products online (46%) and most likely to use ‘click & collect’ services (28%)
  • 2nd most likely nation to have a garden shed (49%), after the Irish (52%)
  • 8% plan to move house in the next 12 months, up from 5% in 2012
  • Britain remains a nation of gardeners, with above average confidence in vegetable growing and lawn mowing
  • Top of the UK’s wish list is to have a conservatory

Further copies of the report can be downloaded from from Monday 4th August at 9am.



Nigel Cope, Head of Media Relations     +44(0)20 7644 1030

Clare Feast, Media Relations Manager   +44(0)20 7644 1286

FTI                                                                  +44(0)20 3727 1000

About the research
The European Home Report 2014 provides a unique snapshot of how Europeans view their homes and their attitudes towards DIY and home improvement. It is a follow up to the 2012 report, showing how things have moved on and providing further insight into what householders in Europe are worried about, what they aspire to and how they are updating their homes to suit 21st Century living.

The research was conducted online from 4th-9th April 2014 with the adult general population who undertake home improvements in United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain and Turkey in their local languages. More than 17,000 responses were captured.

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