Researchers explored the nation’s love for their homes – taking a detailed look at a host of factors including money spent on their dwellings, time spent doing DIY and the number of unfinished jobs.
Based on the responses of 2,000 homeowners, 15 cities were awarded points which were then tallied up, with the capital emerging as the most house proud.
Spending more than ever
In the past year, Londoners have spent more on their homes than any other city – £3,778.03 on average – and called on more tradespeople.
They also watched TV programmes about décor and property for an hour and 48 minutes per week, longer than anyone else.
On top of this, Londoners also spent the most time looking online for home improvement and inspiration during an average week at one hour and 49 minutes.
The research was commissioned by Checkatrade for its Home Pride Index report which found 54 per cent love their home more now than ever before.
Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, environmental psychologist at the University of Surrey, who worked with Checkatrade on the Home Pride Index report, said: “Personalisation through decoration, renovation, and upkeep can increase our sense of being attached - meaningfully connected - to the home.
“Feeling attached or connected to important places in our lives, such as the home, is important for psychological wellbeing and is positively related to mental health.
“Being attached to a place goes hand-in-hand with having positive memories and feeling happy and relaxed, belonging to a community, feeling secure and comfortable, and having opportunities for personal freedom and growth.’’
Newcastle, which came second, earned the most points for the number of DIY jobs completed.
Third-placed Birmingham also fared well, scoring consistently high without coming top in individual categories.
Meanwhile, adults living in Manchester spent the longest cleaning and tidying their homes in 2020 – a total of 20 hours and 15 minutes a month.
In comparison, those in Liverpool set aside the least amount of time at just over 15 and a half hours a month.
The heart of the home
The Checkatrade study carried out through OnePoll also found 58 per cent consider the living room to be the heart of the home, so much so that 32 per cent said making it ‘perfect’ is their main priority.
The living room (26 per cent) is also the area of the home people are most proud of, with the kitchen (16 per cent) in second spot.
The past 12 months has also seen adults adapting their homes in less traditional ways, as seven per cent had a ‘shoffice’ built - an office in a shed – while six per cent created their own mini cinemas.
But 79 per cent think there’s room for improvement in their homes.
Three in 10 are looking to redecorate several rooms, 23 per cent think their garden needs a revamp and 22 per cent hope to replace flooring.
In fact, 47 per cent are more eager now than ever before to carry out DIY or get work done on their homes.
Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade said: “We can see the effect that 2020 has had in some of the searches for our trade members.
“For instance, searches for painters are up 37 per cent in comparison to last year, suggesting that spending more time at home than expected resulted in a redecoration boom with homeowners wanting additional support in creating a boost of colour to their homes.
“We expect a lot of these staple services – such as plumbing, building and electrics – to also grow in popularity throughout 2021 as homeowners continue to see the value in investing in their homes.”
According to Checkatrade’s own search data, the most popular services in 2020 in comparison to 2019 were building, electrical and landscaping.1. Building +63%2. Electrical +56%3. Landscaping +55%4. Plumbing +48%5. Painting +37%6. Central Heating +34%7. Gutter Repair +18%8. Roofing +13%
TOP 15 MOST HOUSE-PROUD CITIES1. London – 121 points2. Newcastle – 114 points3. Birmingham – 113.5 points4. Leeds – 95 points5. Southampton - 88 points6. York – 84 points7. Bristol – 81 points8. Plymouth – 80 points9. Manchester – 72 points10. Glasgow – 66 points11. Liverpool – 63.5 points12. Sheffield – 63 points13. Edinburgh – 62 points14. Leicester – 49 points15. Norwich – 48 points