Bank of Ireland has reported a 25% increase in consumers applying for a home improvement loan in the first quarter of 2016 versus the same period last year. Meath, Longford, Kerry, Limerick and Carlow saw the highest increases in applications for home improvements. The average loan application amount to the Bank has increased by 20% from €10,000 to €12,000 and the average loan term remained steady at five years.
Four in ten (42%) of applicants were aged 35 – 44, and a similar proportion (38%) were over 45 years old. 44% were applying for amounts up to €10,000, one in three (31%) were looking to borrow up to €20,000 and one in four (24%) requested amounts greater than €20,000. 60% of applicants were male.
Figures provided by Onlinetradesmen.ie, Ireland's largest source website for qualified trade professionals, revealed that of 14,000 home improvement projects submitted by consumers in Q1 this year, approximately one in seven (15%) related to extensions. Kitchen / bathroom refurbishment and internal carpentry jobs account for over one in ten projects (12%). Painting and decorating remain popular home improvement projects this year, generating one in ten (9%) online enquiries, while landscaping and patio projects accounted for 7%. Overall, enquiries for trade professionals have increased by over a quarter (28%) on last year.
Discussing the home improvement environment, Scott Kirkwood, Head of Retail Loans, Bank of Ireland said: “We’ve seen a significant increase in year on year loan applications for home improvements in the first quarter of this year, indicating that this will be a busy year for trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Figures provided by Onlinetradesmen.ie show that extensions, interior refurbishments and decorating remain popular home improvement projects. We’ve always been a house-proud nation and early indications are that 2016 will be a hectic year for the home improvement sector.”
Bank of Ireland’s home improvement loan offers competitive variable rates from 7.5% APR on borrowings from €300 to €65,000 with repayment periods from one to seven years. Customer can make extra repayments and clear the loan early with no penalty fees.