Home Lifestyles - UK - September 2010
Since the start of the recession, consumers have been nervous about committing themselves to major spending on their homes or moving house, but at the same time the home has become more important in terms of the amount of time people are spending there. While going out is still a high spending priority, it appears there has been a shift in focus towards spending spare time at home to save money.
- Four in ten adults (19.5 million) are spending more of their spare time at home than a couple of years ago, but this extra time is most likely to be taken up watching TV. Brand and retailers need to encourage people to spend more of their time on more active in-home pursuits that might drive the purchasing of products related to activities such as cooking, gardening and DIY.
- After watching TV, household chores take up the most time spent at home both during the week and weekend, while nearly eight out of ten adults (40 million) really care about the house being clean. Changes to gender roles in the home have lagged the changing role of women in the workplace, so products or marketing that encourage a rebalancing of household chores will be important.
- A higher proportion of adults are renting and living in flats than back in 2007, and greater percentage of new housing is flats and one- or two-bedroom properties compared with ten years ago. This favours an increased focus on home makeover and softer home enhancement, as well as home furnishings that make the most of more limited living space.
- DIY participation declined from an estimated 30 million adults in 2006 to 28 million in 2010 and is more deep rooted than being a response to a slump in the economy and the housing market. If declining activity is to be halted, there is a need to build confidence and skills levels, as well as make DIY a more rewarding and self-empowering experience.
- Interest in and enjoyment of cooking and growing fruit and vegetables was already growing before the recession, but this trend has been heightened by a desire to save money and people spending more spare time at home. Cooking and gardening have practical and emotional benefits and marketing themes focusing on self-sufficiency and self reliance will appeal during the income squeeze.
- One of the biggest changes in home lifestyles has been the amount of time spent at home on the internet, with just under a quarter of adults (12 million) now spending 30 hours or more online a month (14% in 2007). There is a growing reliance on technology for entertainment in the home and we are increasingly becoming a population that never ‘switches off’.
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