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57bn on home improvements set for first half

Women plan to spend over 29bn on home improvements over the next six months compared with about 27bn by men, according to a Sainsbury’s Bank survey.

The bank’s latest home imp-rovement index shows that people plan to spend about 57bn in the first six months of the year. More than 1,000 people were interviewed.

Home improvements tot-alled 80bn for June to Dec-ember last year.

Personal loans will finance over 4bn of the total spend. One in seven personal loans from Sainsbury’s Bank will be used for home improvements, with an average spend of 5,041.

Borrowed money makes up 13.9bn of prospective home improvements over the next six months, including remortgaging, credit cards and borrowing from family and friends.

Fifty-four per cent of people say they are making improvements to make their home more comfortable, 24 per cent because of necessary repairs and 10 per cent to make more space.

Only 3 per cent of consumers want to increase the value of their home in order to sell the property compared with 11 per cent in the last index.

Loans manager Rachel Brereton says: “If you are funding home improvements through personal loans, it pays to shop around for a competitive offer.”


Varying your estate

Where property is inherited, either under a will or under the intestacy laws, it is possible to redirect the legacy (or part thereof) to achieve inheritance tax savings by using a deed of variation, says Brian Murphy.

Buy to let sector continues to post growth

The buy-to-let sector is continuing to grow despite slowing down in 2004, according to the latest survey from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In the second half of 2004 new lending had dropped by 18 per cent from 12 billion in the first half of the year to 9.8 billion.


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